retailTRUST Work with Local Retailers to Launch Youth Employment Initiative across Sussex


retailTRUST, the UK’s leading charity for the retail industry, is delighted to announce the launch of the latest wave of its revolutionary retailRIGHT youth employment scheme across the county, beginning in October.

Sponsored by The Lovering Charitable Trust and Polecat Properties, and in partnership with Sussex Coast College, the retailRIGHT training and employability initiative will enable 60 young people aged 16-24 from Hastings, Eastbourne and Bexhill to participate in the 10-week development programme.  The launch of the initiative will be particularly welcome across Sussex after the recent news that unemployment rates have fallen across the county in 2015, as it can only serve to further reduce unemployment among young people in Sussex.

1 in 3 young people secure employment

retailRIGHT works to prepare young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs) for a rewarding career in the retail industry, through a mix of classroom-based training and practical work experience with a retailer. It gives them the opportunity to gain the right skills and experience to naturally progress into a retail industry career. Previous rounds of the programme across the UK have seen 1 in 3 participants securing retail employment once the course has been completed, with over 200 young people completing the programme to date.

By launching 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 at a grassroots level, working alongside local providers to do so.

Local independent retailers get involved

The Sussex round of the programme differs from those already launched in other parts of the UK, as this is the first round to have local independent retailers offering work placements to participants. Alongside high street names such as Clarks, Marks & Spencer and Pets At Home, local companies including Eastbourne Aquarium & Reptile Centre, Hastings Furniture Service and Battle Interiors will be providing placements to participants for the very first time, creating a truly local community feel to the project.

Local sponsors provide the opportunity for young people to find employment

Sponsors of the programme, The Lovering Charitable Trust, established by John Lovering in 2007, are excited to work with retailRIGHT to help young people enter the industry in which Mr Lovering enjoyed a successful career for over 30 years. As chairman of businesses including Debenhams, Homebase and Maplin Electronics, Mr Lovering has fantastic experience and understands just how rewarding a career in retail can be.

Mr Lovering and his family are closely involved in the local business and charitable communities; his daughter runs Polecat Properties; a 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 October 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

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