Central England Co-op offering young people route back into work and opportunity to ‘kickstart’ their careers

Posted by james brindle | Published: 16/02/2022

Young people who have found themselves out of work are being given the opportunity to ‘kickstart’ their careers at one the country’s leading co-operative societies with over 40 new positions available.

Central England Co-op has joined the Government-backed Kickstart Scheme which aims to create new jobs for 16-24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment and those interested are being urged not to miss out with the deadline for applications fast approaching.

The scheme funds 25 hour a week placements for six months across the organisation’s business functions from positions at its Business Support Centre in Lichfield and its Distribution Hub in Leicester, to roles in its funeralcare team.

The Government funds the placements up to the minimum wage, but Central England Co-op has taken the decision to top up that funding for the positions it is offering its new recruits.

Nicola Thomas, Talent and Workforce Manager at Central England Co-op, said: “As a co-operative with a purpose of creating a sustainable Society for all, giving young people opportunities to develop their skills and their careers is something we are always keen to do.

“We’ve decided to join the Kickstart Scheme firstly to help young people get back into work, but it is also of benefit to us an employer to help create a diverse talent pipeline into our organisation for the future as although these are initial six-month placements, we hope those taking part will become part of Central England Co-op for the years to come.

“Those who take on the roles will not just be doing a job they will also have wrap-around support as we are partnering with the Prince’s Trust who will provide employability skills and training for the whole of the placement.

“We will also add to that support with our own learning and development offering as well, meaning the young people come away with something really valuable after the six months with the possibility of a permanent role with us or otherwise being equipped with skills to take forward to permanent employment elsewhere.”

Central England Co-op has identified 43 positions across the organisation, with 20 roles in its distribution team in Leicester, 15 in its funeralcare operations including floral, masonry, crematorium and frontline funeral teams across its trading area and eight at its Business Support Centre in Lichfield in functions such as HR and finance.

Interested candidates are urged not to miss out as the deadline to join the scheme is Tuesday, 1 March.

Those aged 16-24 and eligible for the Kickstart Scheme are encouraged to contact their work coaches at their local Job Centre as soon as possible to be referred for these positions, as all Kickstart Scheme applications have to be referred.

To find out more about the available roles and other roles currently available at Central England Co-op visit https://careers.coop


Notes to editors

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral and property investment.

Owned by hundreds of thousands of members, its over 8,000 colleagues serve customers across 400 plus trading sites in 20 counties in the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

Its purpose is to inspire communities to create a sustainable Society for all.

It actively campaigns for the Government to increase sentencing for violent attacks on retail workers and works with FareShare Midlands and hundreds of food banks, generating enough food donations to create over 2.1 million meals for people in need.

The Society embraces inclusivity and equality and is a signed-up member to the Business in the Community (BITC) Race at Work Charter, while it is also fully committed to addressing the impact of climate change and is on track to be Carbon Neutral by 2030. 

It invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities through its Community Dividend Fund scheme which has seen over £175,000 shared out between 116 good causes over the past 12 months.

Central England Co-op was named Leading Co-op of the Year by Co-operatives UK in 2021.

Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle

Phone - 01543 421390

Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop