Lincolnshire Co-op wins prestigious 'youth employment' award

A scheme helping local young people to develop skills and become job-ready has led to Lincolnshire Co-op being awarded a prestigious accolade.

Lincolnshire Co-op

The Society has been named a 'Responsible Business Champion 2020' by Business in the Community, a nationwide organisation that’s dedicated to promoting responsible business.

'Get into Retail with Lincolnshire Co-op' is a partnership between the community retailer and charity, The Prince’s Trust.

The scheme sees participants boost their confidence with a week of training including mock interviews, CV building and Level 1 qualifications in Food Hygiene and Responsible Alcohol Retailing. This is followed by a three-week work placement at a local Lincolnshire Co-op outlet.

In the five years it has been running, 130 young people aged between 16 and 30 have completed the scheme and over 75 have secured jobs within the Society’s trading outlets, including becoming Team Leaders – a senior position within a food store. Others have gone onto employment in other sectors including IT and care work.

The success of the 'Get into Retail with Lincolnshire Co-op' scheme led to the Society becoming a Silver Patron of the Prince’s Trust.

Lincolnshire Co-op’s Engagement Advisor, Rachel Ashmore, leads the scheme and says feedback from the participants has been overwhelmingly positive.

“We’ve had candidates telling us that the scheme gave them the skills and knowledge to find employment and it boosted their confidence too,” she said.

“It’s also been a great opportunity for us to develop colleagues already working for us as they have a chance to mentor the young people taking part.”

Lincolnshire Co-op’s Chief Executive Ursula Lidbetter added: “We’re delighted to have been named a Responsible Business Champion 2020.

“What’s even better is that we’ve been able to make a difference to the lives of lots of young people in our area and help them find employment either with us, or with other local businesses.”