THE RETAIL BULLETIN - The home of retail news
Department Stores
Shopping Centres & Retail Parks
Home & DIY
Health & Beauty
General Merchandise
Sports & Leisure
Retail Solutions
Food & Drink
M&S to offer 1,400 work placements to young people

Marks & Spencer has launched a new youth employability scheme – Make Your Mark – in which the retailer will partner with youth charity, The Prince’s Trust, to create over 1,400 work experience placements for 16-25 year olds.


M&S to offer 1,400 work placements to young people

With one in five 16-24 year olds in the labour force currently struggling to find a job, the retailer hopes the training and job placement programme will help to address the skills and experience gap that prevents young people from finding work.

M&S said the scheme will lead to an eight-fold increase in the number of unemployed young people that it takes into work experience. Recruits will undergo a four-week programme with up to 37 hours per week spent either in training or on the shop floor. This will include three days of tailored training modules to increase participants’ knowledge of the retail industry and help them to develop workplace and life skills such as CV writing, networking and confidence building.

During the four-week programme, participants will complete an unpaid work experience placement in an M&S store. Regular feedback and guidance counselling will be provided via a dedicated buddy and career coach to ensure the participants achieve M&S standards of customer service.

M&S said that those young people who performed well and received a satisfactory evaluation following the placement, could go straight into a vacancy if and when one became available. If the young person needed additional support prior to employment, or if there was no job available at their store, they would receive six months post-placement support with The Prince’s Trust to help them find an alternative opportunity.

Marc Bolland, M&S chief executive, said: “Youth unemployment has become one of today’s key social issues and we want to lead the charge for businesses to do more to tackle it head on. That’s why we’ve set aside 1,400 new placements for young people in our stores and have called on our suppliers and other businesses to start engaging their communities and make their own commitments to youth opportunity, using the 2% benchmark as we have.”

Martina Milburn, chief executive of The Prince’s Trust, added: “There are hundreds of thousands of young people out there who are currently struggling to find a job. Youth unemployment can contribute to low self-esteem, feelings of hopelessness and even depression. Make Your Mark is set to help those young people furthest from the jobs market. We are looking forward to working with Marks & Spencer and witnessing the incredible benefits this will bring to the next generation.”

The Make Your Mark scheme will have three intakes throughout the year at stores across the UK. The first intake will be on 1 July, with further sessions running in September and February.

Email this article to a friend

You need to be logged in to use this feature.

Please log in here

Subscribe For Retail News


Retail Human Resources Summit
Retail Human Resources Summit
Wednesday 3 October 2018
The Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1
The 10th HR Summit 2018, The Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1, 3rd October 2018
The Retail Design Summit 2018
The Retail Design Summit 2018
14 November 2018
The Cavendish Conference Centre
The Retail Design Summit 2018
Omnichannel Futures Conference 2019
Omnichannel Futures Conference 2019
6 February 2019
Cavendish Conference Centre, London WG1 9DT
A truly omnichannel offering requires an understanding of customer behaviour across all shopping channels and how this should impact your overall business strategy
Customer Engagement Conference 2019
Customer Engagement Conference 2019
5 June 2019
Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1
The 10th Annual Retail Customer Engagement Summit
National Minimum Wage Breakfast Briefing
National Minimum Wage Breakfast Briefing
20 September 2018
6th Floor 1, St. Martin's Le Grand London, EC1A 4AS
National Minimum Wage Breakfast Briefing