Skratch.co Review: An App to Help Teens Find Work

skratch review

Scott Bennett and Ronen Akiva founded Skratch.co with the understanding of how important income and work are for teens.

When they were growing up, both Bennett and Akiva learned the value of work and the joy of earning their own money. They wanted to provide a way for modern teens to learn those lessons, even if traditional part-time work is hard to come by.

After seeing how tough it can be for teens to find their first work, Bennett and Akiva created Skratch.

This app helps connect teens with gig opportunities in their neighborhoods. The app not only benefits teens, but it also helps working adults find the help they need and brings neighbors together. Skratch is currently only available across Texas.

Here’s what you need to know about Skratch:

How Skratch Works

There are three ways you might interact with the Skratch app: as a teen job-seeker, as a sponsor (a.k.a. potential employer), or as a teen parent. It all starts with downloading the app from iTunes or Google Play. Then, depending on your role, the app will work slightly differently.

For Teens

Teens aged 14-19 set up their account, and select which skills they offer. This allows them to be notified of future gigs that fit their skills. The services Skratch offers fall under one of eight categories:

  • Tutor
  • Pets
  • Creative Arts
  • Family Assistance (Cleaning, organizing, teaching small children)
  • Sports
  • Media & Tech
  • Event Support (Help with parties or other events)
  • Create Your Own (For any services not otherwise listed, such as creating spreadsheets)

The wide range of services offers a number of opportunities for ambitious teens, even if they feel like they don’t have “marketable skills.” Skratch does not offer babysitting services since the program encourages gig Sponsors to consider how useful a teen’s other skill sets can be.

Once a teen has set up their Skratch profile, they are notified when a sponsor has posted a nearby gig that fits their skill set. The app matches teens with potential gigs within a 10-mile radius of their home. The teen can review the gig offering and accept it.

Teens earn between $10 and $12.50 per hour for their work. All money is paid through the app directly, and Skratch sets the prices for each gig. This ensures that teens do not have to negotiate gig prices and do not have to worry about handling cash or checks when they get paid.

See also: Does Your Teen Have to Pay Taxes?

For Sponsors

Sponsors can create a gig on the app by clicking on the type of service they need and filling out the details of the gig. There are some restrictions on what teens are allowed to do. Specifically, you cannot ask a teen to drive as part of your gig (although they can drive themselves to and from your gig), and the teen is not permitted to use any power tools or use ladders over 4 ft. You’re also expected to provide necessary supplies, such as a leash for dog-walking or a soccer ball for helping your daughter practice, but the teen may also bring his or her own supplies as appropriate.

When you sign up with the app, you provide your credit card number. When the job is complete, your card will be charged, so you do not need to worry about payment separately. Skratch charges sponsors between $12.50 and $15 per hour depending on the gig and pays the teens between $10 and $12.50 per hour. The $2.50 difference is how the app makes its money.

You can request a specific teen for a gig. For instance, let’s say you want to make piano lessons a weekly recurring gig, and you and your child loved the teen who came the first day. When you set up your gig, search for your preferred teen, and the notification will go only to that teen. In addition, once you have booked a gig once, you can easily rebook through the app, keeping all the information the same except for the date and time.

For Parents of Teens

Parents of teens are kept 100% in the loop throughout the process. During registration, teens must provide parent information, including a parent’s email address and phone number. At the end of registration, the program sends an email to the parent, requesting consent to allow their teen to work on Skratch. From this point forward, parents will be notified via email of every gig their teen accepts. You’ll receive the following information in these emails:

  • Sponsor’s name
  • Time and date
  • Gig address
  • Gig instructions

See also: 19 Summer Jobs for Teens (and College Students)

Is Skratch Safe?

Skratch takes the safety of teen workers very seriously. They have a number of safety features in place to ensure that teens are having an excellent first work experience. Parents can also feel comfortable with their kids working around the neighborhood.

This starts with phone and OTP verification to ensure that there are no fake users on the program. In addition, every user who is 17 years old or older is screened on the sex offender registry using their registered physical address for verification. Skratch must clear the address before users are allowed to use the program on either side of a work transaction.

On the teen worker side, no teen under the age of 18 may participate without parental consent, and Skratch keeps parents notified about their teens’ activities. This means a Skratch parent can always know where their teen is anytime they are working on a Skratch gig.

Connecting with Community Groups

One of the ingenious ways that Skratch has set itself apart is in how it connects with potential users. Skratch partners with organizations to connect community members in ways that benefit teens and whole communities. This technology allows each partnership to be customized to an organization’s needs. Potential partners include schools, athletic programs, non-profits, community centers, businesses and more.

For example, I was delighted to see BBYO (B’nai Brith Youth Organization) among Skratch’s group partnerships. BBYO was an important part of my teen years. It’s a smart organization to partner with, as all of the teens I know in BBYO are the kind of responsible go-getters I’d like to have working for me.

Other community groups that currently partner with Skratch include churches, private schools, YMCA, and a senior living center. Partnering with these groups adds another layer of community and security to the app. Such partnerships reinforce the connections between teens and sponsors.

Is Skratch in My Area?

Skratch is currently only available across Texas, although the founders want to expand over time. Bennett and Akiva want to make sure their growth is gradual and consistently creates the same value with each community they add. (I’ll be waiting patiently until they expand up to Milwaukee.)

The Bottom Line on Skratch

Finding work as a teenager has never been easy, but it’s particularly challenging in today’s part-time economy. Skratch offers teens the ability to find work that matches their unique skill sets. Not only will this help them learn the value of work and money, but it also sets them up for success in a gig-based future.

Sign up with Skratch today.

About Emily Guy Birken

Emily Guy Birken is a former English teacher and respected personal finance blogger. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her engineer husband and two high-energy little boys. She has written four books: The Five Years Before You Retire, Choose Your Retirement, Making Social Security Work For You, and End Financial Stress Now. Emily's thoughts on parenting and life in general are found at The SAHMnambulist.