retailTRUST Launches Youth Employment Initiative across Sussex, with sponsorship from Polecat Properties and John Lovering

retailTRUST, the UK’s leading charity for the retail industry, is delighted to announce that it is launching the latest wave of its retailRIGHT youth employment scheme in Sussex, from September 2015, in partnership with Sussex Coast College. This round of the training and employability initiative will be sponsored by The Lovering Charitable Trust and Polecat Properties.

This sponsorship will enable 60 young people, aged 16-24, from Hastings, Eastbourne and Bexhill, to take part in the retailRIGHT 10-week development programme, which works to prepare NEETs for a rewarding career in the retail industry. Previous rounds of the programme across the UK have seen significant numbers of participants securing employment once the course has been completed.

Through a mixture of classroom-based training and practical work experience with leading retailers, retailRIGHT allows individuals the opportunity to gain the right skills and the right experience to naturally progress into employment within the retail industry. During their training, young individuals will learn about the retail industry and the skills necessary for this sector, and will then be able to put their newly developed skills into practice, with the opportunity to complete a work placement with leading retail brands including Clarks, Pets at Home, Matalan and House of Fraser.

By launching the scheme in areas where youth unemployment is high and apprenticeship schemes are most in need, retailRIGHT hopes to challenge the national need to tackle youth employment. The programme works in conjunction with local providers, in order to reach out to young people at the grassroots level, and guide them on to a thriving career path.

The Lovering Charitable Trust was set up by John Lovering, and the Trust’s donation is designed to help young people enter the industry in which he worked for over 30 years, as Chairman of successful retail businesses including Somerfield, Debenhams, Homebase and Maplin Electronics.

Mr Lovering and his family are closely involved in the local business and charitable communities; his daughter runs Polecat Properties; the local property letting and estate agency business in Bexhill and Mr Lovering is Chairman of Hastings Pier Charity, and a major driving force in supporting its restoration. Polecat Properties are providing logistical and operational support to the project.

John Lovering, founder of The Lovering Charitable Trust, said, “Retail is an industry which can be the first leg of the journey for young people looking for their way into the world of work. The Trust is delighted to help the prospects of youngsters in Hastings, Bexhill and Eastbourne”

Dan Shelley, of Sussex Coast College, said, “Sussex Coast College is proud to forge a partnership with the retailTRUST, national and independent retailers and Polecat Properties to develop retailRIGHT programmes for young people aged 16-24 to start their careers in retail, a key employment sector in East Sussex. The college will offer apprenticeship opportunities following the successful delivery of programmes in Hastings, Eastbourne and Bexhill as well as supporting the partnership to secure young people for the project.”

Richard Boland, Chief Executive of retailTRUST, said, “Thanks to the wonderful support of The Lovering Charitable Trust and Polecat Properties, we are delighted to be bringing retailRIGHT to Hastings, Bexhill and Eastbourne. Initially we aim to support 60 young people from September 2015, and if we maintain our current success rate, we estimate at least 45% of them will secure permanent roles in retail, thanks to the development and work experience we will deliver, working in partnership with South Coast College and The Lovering Charitable Trust.”

Any eligible young person interested in joining the programme should contact APrendergast@retailtrust.org.uk

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