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John Lewis Partnership plc Sustainability Review 2014

43 Employment and training

In an economy still emerging from recession, providing skills and jobs is vital. So, we’re inspiring young people and creating thousands of jobs around the UK each year.

KEY FACTS Net new jobs created

6,300 125

Inspiring young people

Almost a million young people are struggling to find a job across the UK*

. We see a role Apprentices joined the business

for the Partnership in society to develop the skills of young people and give them the confidence and ability to have a fulfilling and successful future.


We are committed to helping young people develop their skills and confidence to prepare them for a fulfilling and successful future, by providing opportunities for them to kick- start their careers. Following a pilot with a smaller group in 2011, in 2012 we launched our first full Partnership apprenticeship programme. Our ambition was to create a market-leading scheme that attracted young people from diverse backgrounds – a scheme that developed behavioural and role-specific skills while providing permanent jobs and qualifications for those who met the standard.

“I knew an apprenticeship programme at John Lewis was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and since starting in September, I’ve already learnt so much, from working in the fitting rooms to helping customers buy new shoes. Although I enjoyed school, I really wanted to get out into the ‘real world’, and the programme has given me a kick start in getting a career.”

Elliot Racz (16), Selling Assistant, Menswear, John Lewis Cardiff

In 2013, 87 retail apprentices joined John Lewis and 30 joined Waitrose. During the year, they will complete a diploma in retail skills and a certificate in retail knowledge. Training in functional skills in Maths and English is also offered where needed. We also recruited eight Technology apprentices to John Lewis and Partnership Services head offices.

In addition, Waitrose recruited 11 Partners into convenience branches following work experience placements supported by Business in the Community’s ‘Ready for Work’ programme.

Creating employment

In a challenging economic environment where unemployment remains high, we are pleased to have been able to create 6,300 new jobs around the country this year through head office, branch openings and by growing our distribution operations.

To support Waitrose’s growth in the north of England and Scotland, our distribution centre in Leyland, Lancashire opened in August. The opening has initially created 250 jobs, including specialist and support roles such as warehouse and transport managers, catering and maintenance. This 360,000-square foot warehouse is currently servicing 42 branches and has the capacity to support up to 100 branches in the longer term, which will further drive the growth in employment opportunities in the region.

In 2014, we are opening two additional John Lewis branches in York and Birmingham – in two regions with among the highest unemployment rates in the UK, where we expect to recruit around 400 and 650 additional Partners respectively. We have been actively working with local councils and job centres to highlight the roles and the skills required. In York, we are helping the long-term unemployed to get back into work by guaranteeing a place at our assessment centre to all those who have taken part in pre-employment training programmes. See page 15 for further detail on career development within the Partnership.

* Youth unemployment statistics, UK Parliament, January 2014






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