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Opportunities to Kickstart retail careers with the Co-op

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  • Published: 12th October 2021
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Opportunities to Kickstart retail careers with the Co-op

A total of 50 new positions are being made available in local co-operative retail stores as part of the Government's scheme to kickstart youth employment.

Southern Co-op has started advertising the latest placements which are open to 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

The latest vacancies are in Co-operative Food stores in Clanfield, Cowplain and Denmead amongst many other locations. There are also a further three roles at its head office in Portsmouth in recruitment, corporate affairs and communications.

So far, there have been 38 people employed by the regional co-operative across its head office, funeral and retail branches via the Kickstart scheme.

Sarah Kavanagh, Business Transformation & HR Director at Southern Co-op, said: "The Kickstart Scheme means we look for people aged 16 to 24, with the right attitude, and give them the opportunity to learn new skills whilst being paid.

"We expected it to take a bit of time for some to find their feet and get into the routine of work but, after about three weeks, we have been getting some great feedback. One manager described their new starter as ‘100% amazing', ‘flexible, keen and willing to try anything'."

The Kickstart Scheme placements are funded by the Government for 25 hours per week for six months and referrals are made on to the scheme via local Jobcentres.

The job placements provide opportunities to young people who may have been overlooked before due to lack of experience.

In order to help them gain as many skills as possible, Southern Co-op's programme is also giving young adults a chance to gain a Level One Certificate in Employability Skills which is being run by Havant & South Downs College.

The local stores accepting applications for this latest round are: Clanfield in White Dirt Lane, Cowplain in Milton Road and Denmead in Hambledon Road.

People interested in a Kickstart placement should speak to their local Jobcentre. For other vacancies at Southern Co-op, visit


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Opportunities to Kickstart retail careers with the Co-op

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