A.F. Blakemore launch new employability programme

January 18, 2017 IN THE CATEGORY: People, Responsible retailing

A.F. Blakemore has launched a new community programme to inspire, engage and motivate young people about the opportunities in the employment industry. The Blakemore Branching Out programme will support young people across five key interventions, enabling them to gain the necessary skills to enter employment successfully, provide insight into the world of work and ultimately help reduce youth unemployment.

A.F. Blakemore employees will work with schools across its trading area to offer a more strategic approach to employability which will include reading support, workplace insights, employability workshops, career support and work experience.

Today, about 60%[1] of young people in the UK are leaving school without the necessary skills to enter the world of work. Furthermore, the City and Guilds Group state that by 2020 there will be a shortage of 40,000 skilled jobs within the UK – many of those skills are required by A.F. Blakemore.

A.F. Blakemore have had strong links with schools for over 10 years and in that time the volunteering programme has grown significantly, being nationally recognised with Business in the Community Responsible Business Awards.

By 2020 the Blakemore Branching Out programme aims to deliver 1,200 events involving 2,000 employees, inspiring 13,500 young people and recruiting 50 people into the business as a result of engaging in the programme.

A.F. Blakemore Community Affairs Officer Liz Bell commented: “We have spent many years working with schools but I believe Branching Out will bridge the gap between education and employment. Branching Out is going to allow young people to grow and flourish. The young people of today will be our leaders of tomorrow, and it is our job to inspire them to work for our business.

“Inspiring young people to work and to want to work for A.F. Blakemore is just the start of Branching Out. We will look at the way we recruit and grow young people when they are in the business.”