Marks & Spencer is linking up with The Prince’s Trust to create more than 1,400 work experience placements for 16-25 year olds.
The training and job placement programme, called Make Your Mark, sees candidates take on four weeks of unpaid work – equal to 37 hours a week - at an M&S store.
Although those taking up a placement will not be paid, they will receive travel and food expenses.
They will receive an induction ahead of the placement, and training during their time working, with a dedicated “buddy” and “career coach” designed to “ensure the participant is achieving M&S standards of customer service”.
Those who are found to work well at M&S could be offered a role “if and when one becomes available”. They will also receive a six month post-placement support with The Prince’s Trust to find an alternative outcome if so.
The scheme launches today, with further sessions starting in September and next February. For more information, go to http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/mscareers
Marks & Spencer chief executive Marc Bolland 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.”