Breaking the cycle: regeneration partnerships

23 May 2013

Helping to break the cycle of long term unemployment in the UK and Hungary

The overriding challenge for many young people is how to break out of the unemployment trap they find themselves in.

Too often, many young people find they are turned down because they don’t have the right experience – but they can’t get experience until they have a job.

It was to help break the cycle of long-term unemployment that we created our Regeneration Partnership Stores which ensure that a significant percentage of our workforce includes people who have been unemployed for a minimum of six months. Over the last 13 years, we have opened more than 50 Regeneration Partnership Stores, providing over 16,000 jobs in total, with over 5,000 going to long-term unemployed. In January 2013, we opened the doors of our latest store in Corby, Northamptonshire. This new store has created 350 new jobs, of which 100 are for people who have been out of work for more than six months.

This year, we opened our first overseas Regeneration Partnership Store in Debrecen, Hungary. By creating 165 new jobs, including 100 that were taken up by people who were previously unemployed – almost half of them long-term unemployed – we have been able to support the economic recovery and welfare of the local community.

Our ambition is to use these programmes to create even more opportunities for young people. As part of this, we will be reserving 500 jobs for long-term unemployed young people in our UK stores over the coming year. We have learned that the secret of success is not to recruit on the basis of qualifications and experience alone but also to factor in attitude and commitment, and to be ready to give people a chance when they need it most.