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2nd March 2020

Supporting 16-24 year olds onto the career ladder with Kickstart retail opportunities


In partnership with The Prince’s Trust – our long-standing employability and Sparks charity partner, 360 placements have been made available here at M&S via the government's new Kickstart scheme. M&S will deliver two Kickstart cohorts with placements (180 each) in April and June 2021.

Supporting 16-24 year olds to step onto the career ladder and provide invaluable skills and training in retail, this is part of M&S’s wider commitment to employability such as Marks & Start – which has helped over 20,000 young people facing barriers into work.

Our Kickstart colleagues will join as Trainee Customer Assistants for six-month placements rotating across Foodhalls, backstage operations, hospitality and Clothing & Home departments at M&S stores. The roles will be available across a breadth of geographical regions across the UK, including our 30 Regional Academy stores – our centres of excellence.  

The dedicated training programme will involve core life and work skills such as resilience and wellbeing, communication skills and building confidence in the workplace – and will prepare colleagues to join our Retail Apprenticeship programme. There will also be a key focus on digital skills and learning and participants will have access to a range of digital devices to work with to support their training. 

“Through our partnership with The Princes Trust, we’re proud to have supported thousands of people who face barriers to jumpstart their careers. But now more than ever, as a result of the pandemic, we know the challenges to find work are even greater for young people. That’s why, we’re proud to play our part by backing the Government’s Kickstart scheme and helping to build essential employability and skills to improve their chances of finding long-term careers.” Commented Sacha Berendji, Retail & Property Director at M&S.

With a long-standing history of providing employability opportunities through our Marks & Start scheme - since 2004, together with partners including The Prince’s Trust, we have supported over 20,000 young people, who are at a disadvantage, to find an accessible route into work through the programme. 

Applications are now open with the first programme starting this April, and can be accessed by contacting your work coach who will be able to guide you through the process. Reach out today and make the first step towards an exciting career in retail!