Tesco reserves new jobs for long-term unemployed

Tesco will ring-fence a significant proportion of the 11,000 jobs created this year for the long-term unemployed, by recruiting through job centres in the government’s Local Employment Partnership (LEP) scheme, Personnel Today has learned.

After announcing a 10% rise in annual profits to £3.13bn yesterday, Hayley Tatum, Tesco’s UK personnel director, said the new jobs announced yesterday will be created by February 2010. The supermarket giant will be recruiting across all roles, as 200 new express stores and 30 larger stores will be opened.

The retailer has already taken on 3,000 long-term unemployed people through Jobcentres using LEPs. Tatum said the scheme’s success meant the retailer could increasingly rely on it as a source of candidates.

“We are looking to extend our use of LEPs as that strategy has served us well over the years. We have forged that relationship with Jobcentres and we are confident LEPs will deliver for us this year.”

Tatum said it was too early to tell how many jobs would be put aside for recruitment through LEPs, as it depended on the size and the location of the new stores. “If the store is in an area of high unemployment, we will try to ring-fence more jobs for LEPs,” she said.

Tatum claimed Tesco is the only employer to offer those who complete its LEP scheme the guarantee of a job at the end. In March, McDonalds revealed it will only offer those on its LEP scheme the guarantee of an interview for a job.

She said: “If you enrol on the programme with us and you complete it, we will guarantee you a job, not just an interview, because we are very confident with the training provided and we have had some great success stories with it. If you complete the whole programme, we know that you have already demonstrated the skills we need.”

The supermarket chain is also set to double the number of apprentices it takes on next year to 1,600 places, Tatum said.

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