M&S offers work experience to the alienated

Feb 04 2004 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Retail giant Marks & Spencer has announced that it will offer 10,000 work experience placements to people who face barriers in getting a job, including the homeless and disabled.

M&S has already helped up to 600 homeless people experience work.

In a scheme that will run for three years, the company said that its stores and offices will offer two-to-four week placements to help people find work. Each individual will also be assigned a personal mentor.

M&S chairman, Luc Vandevelde, said that the project will benefit the company as well as those it seeks to help.

"Being a mentor to someone who is homeless, unemployed or has disabilities can be both challenging and motivating and the experience will develop the skills of our own people," he said.

Andy Westwood of the Work Foundation said: "This is a bold initiative to address some of the country's most stubborn social problems."

The scheme will be aimed at schoolchildren, disabled people, parents returning to work, the young unemployed, homeless and students.