Tesco is set to launch a job assistance scheme that it claims will help 45,000 young people break into the workforce.
The Big 4 grocer will set up its new initiative in collaboration with the Prince’s Trust, which it is extending its existing partnership with for another five years.
It hopes to reach 200,000 young people in need.
The move comes as a recent survey from The Social Market Foundation of young people aged 16-25 revealed that 30 per cent expected to end up in a dead-end job, with the number rising to 43 per cent for participants from a less affluent background.
One third of participants said they did not feel equipped to succeed in the jobs market, with the figure rising to 52 per cent among those from a lower income background.
The report showed that optimism among youth in the UK is now lower than it was during the 2008/09 Great Recession, with common statements among participants including the belief that “people like me don’t succeed.”
Tesco has committed to offer work placements as part of its Movement to Work collaboration, make available thousands of permanent positions in its stores across the UK, conduct pre-employment outreach, and offer degree apprenticeships, a business diversity internship and graduate roles.
“Inequalities in society are having a big impact on the outlook and chances of young people,” Tesco chief people officer Natasha Adams said.
“We must not allow a two-tier system to emerge where some are equipped with the confidence to get on and others are left behind.
“Businesses like ours need young, diverse talent.
“We are committed to creating opportunities for all and want young people to see that everyone’s welcome at Tesco, whoever you are and whatever your background.”
The Prince’s Trust UK chief executive Jonathan Townsend added: “We are enormously proud to be working with Tesco over the next five years to reach more young people and support them into the world of work.
“More than ever, it’s crucial that we work with partners like Tesco to support young people to upskills, train and access job opportunities.
“Long term commitments such as these mean we can make a real difference to the lives of young people across the UK.”