Innovative local scheme attracts untapped talent

innovative new scheme is helping unemployed people into jobs at the flagship
John Lewis store in London’s Oxford Street.

link-up between the store and Reed in Partnership – part of the Reed training
and recruitment group – has helped North London residents who had not
previously considered a career at the store into employment.

of the new recruits had previously never considered working in the retail
sector through a combination of being low in confidence, English not being
their first language and a lack of retail knowledge.

help the process, John Lewis and Reed in Partnership are providing ‘work
tasters’, whereby John Lewis staff act as mentors and support those recruits
with English as a second language.

first 13 new recruits have now started in a range of roles from warehousing to
sales assistant, with more expected to start in the next few months.

Collins, personnel policy manager at the retailer, said: "This partnership
with Reed allows John Lewis the opportunity to help the long-term unemployed
get back into employment and equip them with the key skills needed to work in

a win-win situation; individuals grow in confidence and can prepare themselves
for the world of work, while the retail sector as a whole benefits from a wider
pool of available talent."

Melvin, MD of Reed in Partnership, said that by working with John Lewis they
have been able to tackle some of the barriers which prevent people entering the
world of work.

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