Twenty youngsters from Leeds have turned their lives around and found work with help from Marks & Spencer (M&S) and youth charity The Prince’s Trust.
In July, they took part in a nationwide M&S and Prince’s Trust youth employability scheme, Make Your Mark, which offers unemployed young people – aged between 16 and 24 – training and mentoring to help find a job.
All 20 participants who passed each element of the programme have now been offered jobs at M&S.
M&S has now kicked off its September programme by offering an additional 28 Make Your Mark places within Leeds.
During the month, 28 young people from Leeds will begin the Make Your Mark programme at M&S Leeds, M&S Leeds White Rose and M&S Pudsey.
Youth unemployment has recently reached record levels, with over one in five of 16 – 24 year olds in the labour force struggling to find jobs. In Leeds – one of 42 areas across the UK to run the September programme of Make Your Mark – figures shows that there are currently 18,500 young people unemployed in Leeds.
Make Your Mark is an on-the-job training and mentoring programme designed to address the skills and experience gap that prevents young people from finding work.
Make Your Mark is inspired by Marks & Start, M&S’ successful employability scheme for people who face barriers to employment.
Since 2004 it has enabled over 1,100 young people to complete placements with M&S or another employer within three months of participating in the scheme.
The new scheme aims to take this to the next level with a commitment to support even more young people across the UK.
Phil Schulze, store manager at M&S Leeds, said:
“We are so pleased to have been able to support these local young people and to subsequently have them as part of our team at M&S Leeds.
“There are hundreds of thousands of young people across the UK struggling to find work and we’re extremely proud to be helping to support some of those through the Make Your Mark programme.
“We hope to make a real and lasting impact on the lives of the young people coming through the programme at M&S Leeds.”
To find out more about the next programme in Leeds or anywhere across the UK, call 0800 842 842 or visit www.princes-trust.org.uk/makeyourmark