MARKS & Spencer has joined forces with the Prince’s Trust to create more than 1,400 work experience placements for young people.
The recruits, aged 16 to 25, will take part in a four-week programme of unpaid work in an M&S store.
The firm says the joint scheme is designed to address the skills and experience gap that prevents many young people from finding work.
Chief executive Marc Bolland said: “Youth unemployment has become one of today’s key social issues and we want to lead the charge for businesses to do more to tackle it head on.
“We’ve set aside 1,400 placements for young people and have called on our suppliers and other businesses to make their own commitments to youth opportunity.”
Make Your Mark is inspired by “Marks & Start”, M&S’ employability scheme for people who face barriers to employment. Since 2004 it has helped more than 1,100 people to complete placements in stores and offices, with half gaining employment with M&S or another employer within three months.