Koru’s Rachel Carrell an Employer with Heart

Fewer young people are working part-time in the UK. But Emma Pettit, 21, is animated on the topic of her summer job, looking after a 10-year-old, doing “fun things”. Childcare, and a stint at Koru Kids, founded by New Zealander Rachel Carrell (pictured), is unrelated to Pettit’s degree in music event management, but nonetheless, she will add it to her CV.

“It teaches you responsibility for another person and keeping them safe. You can prove that you can do that. You have to be proactive. In terms of a proper job, I can transfer the interpersonal skills,” Pettit said.

Pettit found work through Koru Kids, an online agency that matches working parents who need childcare with students seeking part-time jobs.

By working in the holidays, Pettit is meeting the challenge set out last month by Esther McVey, the UK Work and Pensions secretary.

In using technology to find work, Pettit is part of a trend among students.

Deliveroo, the food delivery company, says 50 per cent of its UK workforce are students. According to the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, 12 per cent of those involved in the “gig economy” – defined as the exchange of labour for money between individuals or companies via digital platforms on a short-term or task basis – are full-time students.

Carrell points out that unlike gig workers at Uber Eats and Deliveroo, nannies such as Pettit are classed as employees, which means they are entitled to holiday, sick and maternity pay: “These are the rights that gig workers have been pressing for in other industries,” Carrell says.

Carrell started Koru Kids after becoming a working mother herself. “Parents are the most exhausted people on the planet, and yet we expect them to somehow patch childcare together,” she told Forbes in an interview earlier this year.

In response, she’s built a “loop of care”, Forbes explained, that not only benefits parents and children but will appeal to student nannies too (Koru translates as ‘loop’ in Māori, Cullen said).

Forbes reported that the key sell for students is that Koru Kids lets them work flexible hours around their education while earning up to £11 ($21.35) per hour depending on family requirements: significantly more than the minimum wage they could expect in a local cafe or pub. Today 18-to-20-year-olds in the UK receive a minimum of £5.90, ($11.45) and 21-to-24-year-olds a minimum of £7.38 ($14.32).

Original article by Emma Jacobs, Financial Times, August 9, 2018.

Tags: Employment  Financial Times  Forbes  Koru Kids  Rachel Carrell  

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