Canary Wharf Group opens streetwear store to support youth employment
Canary Wharf Group has today announced its partnership with Circle Collective, a social enterprise, to help unemployed young people get into permanent work.
The London-based Social enterprise and charity has opened its third physical store in the Lower Mall at Jubilee Place, staffed by young people with the retail space provided free-of-charge by Canary Wharf Group as part of its broader social impact strategy.
The store will sell own-brand merchandise, vintage clothing and homeware including global streetwear brands such as Eastpak, Dickies, Kickers and Fila.
In addition to selling streetwear, Circle Collective’s retail space will be used for workshops, pop ups, art shows and ticketed events.
The young people’s work experience will include customer service, product knowledge, cash handling and time keeping which will enable them to learn core transferable skills to further help them find permanent employment. Clothing adjustments and shoe cleaning will be available instore to enable its staff to learn core transferable skills to further help them find permanent employment.
Proceeds from every store sale will be used to fund the “back your future” employability course run from the premises by the sister charity Circle Community, which will support those aged 16-30 with barriers to employment to gain work experience, boost their employability skills and get into work.
Recent figures show that 788,000 young people in the UK are not in employment, training or education, a number that is only getting higher. Beyond the provision of high-quality retail space, the partnership between Canary Wharf Group and Circle Collective will support participants to gain valuable work experience, customer service training and coaching.
The Canary Wharf base is expected to help 250 young people into work.
Since its launch in Westminster in 2010, Circle Collective has successfully launched two retail stores and training facilities in Lewisham and Hackney and helped 800 young people into permanent jobs through serving 150,000 customers.
Further to this, it has partnerships and has collaborated with Landsec, Sage, NHS Properties, Mayor of London, Poplar Works and many London boroughs to further its mission to help young people overcome obstacles to work.
Emma Warden, Associate Director, CSR & Community at Canary Wharf Group comments: “We are proud to welcome Circle Collective to the heart of our retail offering in Jubilee Mall and are looking forward to partnering with them in their mission to help young people find sustainable work.
“Youth employment remains one of the most prominent issues locally and nationally as unemployment figures rose to 5% in the past year. Using our position as a connector and owner of space, this partnership forms part of our wider vision to create lasting social impact through meaningful collaborations with community partners, our customers and our own people.”
Turly Humphreys, CEO of Circle Collective comments: “We are so excited about being donated this wonderful space in such a prestigious location. Our young team and trainees are bolstered with confidence. Our customers are shocked that such a unique and beautiful store holds such strong mission and vision, we have already had people offering to volunteer and mentor our trainees and corporates offering entry level jobs.”
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