Supporting those who are most in need

22 May 2014

We already provide a range of opportunities to support young people, from our graduate and school leaver programmes to advice on CV writing and interview skills

But with youth unemployment rates in many of the countries where we operate at crisis levels, we know that there is a significant group of young people who need our support urgently: those who are not in education, employment or training. We cannot solve this problem alone and so have been working in partnership with others to launch a range of initiatives to help these young people.

In Ireland, we have launched the Positive2Work programme in partnership with the Irish Government. This six-week employability programme, leading to a nationally recognised qualification, gives unemployed young people the skills and experience they need to get started in the retail industry. So far, 64 young people have benefited from this programme, with over 50% of students gaining full-time employment on completion. The 2014 programme will enable 100 young people to benefit from classroom training and work experience in our stores across Ireland.

In the UK we are founding members in a new coalition of UK businesses which have made a commitment to create opportunities for thousands of unemployed young people through the Movement to Work initiative. Working with The Prince’s Trust we will be offering a structured vocational training scheme to help prepare young people not in education, employment or training. We will be offering 500 places on this scheme over the next two years.

Our focus will be on areas of high deprivation or unemployment and will reinforce the work we have been doing to help long-term unemployed people through our Regeneration Partnership stores.