Lincolnshire Co-op youth scheme praised by Business in the Community

Around 130 young people have completed the scheme over the past five years

Lincolnshire Co-op’s youth employment scheme has been awarded a Responsible Business Champion 2020 by Business in the Community.

The Get into Retail with Lincolnshire Co-op programme helps young people gain new skills and be ready to join the job market. The project is a partnership between the retailer and charity The Prince’s Trust, of which the society is now a Silver Patron.

As part of the scheme, participants receive training over the course of a week, receiving advice on mock interviews, CV building and Level 1 qualifications in Food Hygiene and Responsible Alcohol Retailing. This is followed by a three-week work placement at a local Lincolnshire Co-op outlet.

Related: Prince’s Trust makes Lincolnshire Co-op a silver patron

A total of 130 young people aged between 16 and 30 have completed the scheme over the past five years, and over 75 of them secured jobs within the Society’s trading outlets. Some have gone on to become team leaders – a senior position within a food store. Other participants used the skills gained during the training to go into employment in other sectors including IT and care work.

Lincolnshire Co-op’s engagement advisor Rachel Ashmore, who leads the scheme, said: “We’ve had candidates telling us that the scheme gave them the skills and knowledge to find employment and it boosted their confidence too. It’s also been a great opportunity for us to develop colleagues already working for us as they have a chance to mentor the young people taking part.”

Chief executive Ursula Lidbetter said: “We’re delighted to have been named a Responsible Business Champion 2020.

“What’s even better is that we’ve been able to make a difference to the lives of lots of young people in our area and help them find employment either with us, or with other local businesses.”

 For more information about the programme, visit