M&S Banbury has opened work placements for young people between 16 - 24.

M&S Banbury Gateway is taking applications for a new work placement programme to enable young people aged 16-24 to gain experience to help them onto the career ladder.

M&S at Banbury Gateway is creating work placements for young people this spring
M&S at Banbury Gateway is creating work placements for young people this spring

The Banbury jobs are among 360 work placements created by M&S across the breadth of the country in support of the Government’s Kickstart programme.

The programme will be run in partnership with The Prince’s Trust - M&S’s long-standing employability and Sparks charity partner. The first Kickstart cohort of 180 placements across 30 Regional Academy stores includes six placements delivered in Banbury in April. A second cohort, again running across the countrym, is set to run in June 2021.

The Kickstart workers will join M&S Banbury Gateway 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.

Ella Treloar, Store Manager at M&S Banbury Gateway said: “As one of thirty Regional Academy stores, we are delighted to be involved in the Kickstart programme to support young people gain valuable experience to further build employability and life skills longer term.

"While the last twelve-months have been particularly challenging for young people in particular, we look forward to welcoming the first cohort to our team in April and supporting them on their career journey.”

Frances Milner, Director of Fundraising, The 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. Together with Marks & Spencer, we can offer more young people the chance to build their skills and start work, so that they can feel positive about their futures despite any challenges they may be facing.”

M&S has a long-standing history of providing employability opportunities through its Marks & Start scheme. Since 2004, together with partners including The Prince’s Trust, M&S has supported over 9,000 young people, to find an accessible route into work through the programme. Additionally, M&S offers a range of early careers opportunities with roles across its business – including apprenticeships, school leaver programme and its graduate scheme.

Following the Kickstart placements, M&S aims to support colleagues to apply for permanent opportunities where available across its stores. All Kickstart colleagues will be paid in line with current in-store pay levels.

Applications for the April cohort are now open at Jobcentre Plus locations across the UK.