High street retailer, John Lewis, has announced that they will guarantee interviews or assessment centre sessions to all successful participants of a national pre employment programme. The programme called Retail Works and which is run by Skillsmart Retail, an industry skills council, provides over 30 hours of training in a broad variety of retail skills.
It’s a very positive move by the department store to offer graduates ‘a foot in the door’ and create new jobs. Beyond the assessment scheme, the retailer has also ring fenced 400 assessment places at its new store opening in Stratford this September to Retail Works attendees.
Anne Seaman, CEO of Skillsmart Retail, said: “It can be very frustrating for people trying to get a job in retail if they have no previous experience, because recruiters often disregard them and it becomes a catch-22 situation.
“Retail Works is a fantastic route into retail. It demonstrates to retailers that a person has the knowledge base and passion to work in retail and gives the individual confidence in interviews and at work.”
Since the programme began in January 2009, it has trained more than 20,000 people and a survey last year showed that 53 per cent of participants had found work thanks to the course.
John Lewis hopes to create 2,200 new jobs in the UK this year with the opening of their new Stratford store, near to the Olympics site.
Jane Beine, Head of Partner Development at John Lewis, added: “Our Partners are at the centre of our organisation. They are hugely important
to the business and their passion for retail is essential.
“We are delighted to be able to use the Skillsmart Retail Works programme to help us recruit for our new branch in Stratford. Helping people back into work and onto a career path in retail with John Lewis is very exciting and forms part of the personnel divisional strategy.”
Original feature courtesy of Fashionunited
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