Why M&S is offering Kickstart work placements to young people across Yorkshire

Marks & Spencer stores across Yorkshire are taking applications for a newly launched work placement programme to enable young people, aged 16-24, to gain valuable experience to help them onto the career ladder.

Placement: Staff members at Marks & Spencer, which is taking applications for a newly launched work placement programme .

Supporting the UK Government’s Kickstart programme, M&S has created 360 work placements across the breadth of the country.

The programme will be run in partnership with The Prince’s Trust – M&S’s long-standing employability and Sparks charity partner.

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The first Kickstart cohort of 180 placements across 30 Regional Academy stores will include 18 placements at stores in York, Sheffield and Pudsey from April.

A second cohort – again running across the country – is set to run in June 2021.

The Kickstart staff will join M&S stores at York Retail Park, Meadowhall and Pudsey as trainee customer assistants for the six-month placements rotating across Foodhalls, backstage operations, hospitality and clothing and home departments.

As well as gaining retail experience, the programme will also develop their communication and digital skills and confidence in the workplace – equipping them with key tools to support their future career journey.

Clare Smith, store manager at York Retail Park, said: “As one of thirty Regional Academy stores, we are delighted to be involved in the Kickstart programme to support young people gaining valuable experience to further build employability and life skills longer term.”

Frances Milner, director of fundraising atThe Prince’s Trust, said: “We’ve been working in partnership with Marks & Spencer for more than 16 years and in that time have helped more than 9,000 young people to develop their confidence and skills for work.

"We are pleased to be expanding this partnership, particularly at this time, when we know young people are disproportionately affected by rising unemployment and ongoing disruption to education and training opportunities.”

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