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Get into Retail with Lincolnshire Co-op

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We bring together energy, ideas and resources to make life better for people in our communities. One way we do this is by delivering a four-week Get into Retail programme delivered in partnership with The Prince’s Trust.

Participants begin with a training week which equips them with the necessary knowledge and skills required for their three week placement in a Lincolnshire Co-op outlet, including two Level 1 qualifications in Food Hygiene and Responsible Alcohol Retailing.

Past participant Ben now works at our Riseholme Food Store and Filling Station in Lincoln. Here's his story...

Since 2015 over 150 people aged 16 to 30 have participated in nine rounds of the programme, with 58% of those finding jobs with Lincolnshire Co-op just as Ben did. Others go on to find employment elsewhere. 

Following this success Lincolnshire Co-op has been named a silver patron and corporate partner with the Prince’s Trust; the only Lincolnshire-based business to have been awarded this.

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We’re keen to develop our colleagues and are delighted one of our successful participants will shortly be completing a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Retail. Another from our initial programme is now working towards a Team Leading Level 3 Apprenticeship.

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Tom Cullen, from Gibbet Nook, is Team Leader at Gibbet Nook Food Store and Filling Station. Next year he’ll celebrate five years since starting work at Lincolnshire Co-op, after taking part in the Get into Retail scheme.

“I joined Lincolnshire Co-op’s LEAP programme last May. It helps train colleagues who’ve got potential to become the next generation of store managers. That’s what I’m aiming for, and after that I want to be area manager.

“That one decision to try the Get into Retail programme has led to all this for me. If anyone is considering it, I’d tell them to take the opportunity.”

We’ve also welcomed back a former participant to our Wages Team who will be completing a Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship.

Through our partnership with The Prince’s Trust we’ve been able to support young people who may not have identified retail as their chosen career. This could be from lack of experience, academic achievement or barriers they may face such as poor transport, mental health issues and more.  

Get into Retail has also enabled us to grow the skills of our existing colleagues. We encourage them to deliver elements of the training week and to conduct mock interviews.

Working in partnership with The Prince’s Trust has allowed our colleagues the opportunity to become Business or Progression Mentors. This enables them to aid young people to gain employment, attend training or even become a future entrepreneur - unlocking their potential and helping grow the local economy.

Recruitment is currently underway for our next Get into Retail program, click here to apply.

We’ll shortly be announcing how our partnership with The Prince’s Trust will be developing, so keep an eye out for more information.