11 May 2022
JD SPORTS WELCOMES HRH THE PRINCE OF WALES AT LONDON STORE TO MEET YOUNG PEOPLE HELPED INTO WORK BY THE PRINCE'S TRUST AND KICKSTART SCHEME
· Partnership with The Prince's Trust on a national rollout of the Kickstart Scheme
· JD Group has enrolled more than 1,000 Kickstarters in the past year
Today, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visited the JD Sports Walworth store, South London, to meet with young people recruited by the JD Group, the leading retailer of sports, fashion and outdoor brands, and supported by The Prince's Trust through the UK Government's Kickstart Scheme.
The Prince's Trust Founder and President visited the JD Sports branch to meet with JD Kickstart recruits. He was joined by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, JD Executive Chairman Peter Cowgill, and CFO Neil Greenhalgh. Together, they heard from young people who were previously unemployed, but supported by The Prince's Trust and Kickstart scheme, entered employment with the JD Group.
The JD Group has worked closely with the Department for Work and Pensions and The Prince's Trust on a national rollout of the Kickstart Scheme, creating roles for unemployed young people. Since April 2021, the JD Group has enrolled over 1,000 Kickstarters across its retail, distribution centre, JD Gyms and head office operations. For those who completed their placement, the Group has provided many offers of permanent employment and apprenticeship programmes with JD.
The Group recognises the prevalence of social inequality in the UK and feels passionate about reducing barriers to entry to employment for young people who are socially and economically disadvantaged. JD is proud of its partnership with The Prince's Trust, a charity which gives young people the confidence and practical support needed to secure employment and stabilise their lives. Youth unemployment peaked at almost 15% at the height of the pandemic, and unemployment can have longstanding implications on young people's futures. The Kickstart scheme, alongside The Trust's employability support, has provided young people with the skills and experience they need for work.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: "The Kickstart scheme has transformed thousands of young lives, helping people get the skills and experience they need to thrive.
"I was proud to meet some of those young people today, and hear how they have seized the opportunity of Kickstart with both hands."
Jonathan Townsend, UK Chief Executive of The Prince's Trust said: "At The Prince's Trust, we know that securing employment can help young people build stable and fulfilling lives. We have provided vital support to thousands of young people on the Kickstart Scheme who were at risk of long-term unemployment.
"By working in partnership with employers in a range of industries, The Trust's employability programmes provide crucial support to young people seeking work and help to ensure this generation have the confidence and skills they need to enter meaningful careers."
Peter Cowgill, Executive Chairman at JD Sports Fashion plc, said: "It has been a privilege to welcome HRH The Prince of Wales and The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP to our Walworth JD Sports branch today. We are proud to employ such inspiring and talented young people through our partnership with The Prince's Trust and the Kickstart Scheme and are looking forward to continuing to work together to support more young people along their career path."
The Kickstart Scheme was setup by the UK Government in response to the impact of the pandemic and rising numbers of young people at risk of long-term unemployment. With support from The Trust, more than 4,200 16 - 24-year-olds have started Kickstart placements with over 50 employers from the retail, construction, tech, media and hospitality sectors, including more than1,000 with the JD Group.
The Prince's Trust helps tens of thousands of young people each year and three in four on its programmes move into work, education or training.
For more information, please contact Jennifer.Iveson@jdplc.com
Notes to Editors:
About the JD Group:
The JD Group, is a UK-based, FTSE 100 listed, global multichannel retailer which specialises in the sale of Sports Fashion and Outdoor footwear and apparel. The JD Group has over 3,400 stores in 32 countries across the globe, with a presence in the UK, USA, Europe and Asia Pacific.
About The Prince's Trust
The Prince's Trust believes that every young person should have the chance to succeed, no matter what their background or the challenges they are facing. We help those from disadvantaged communities and those facing the greatest adversity by supporting them to build the confidence and skills to live, learn and earn.
The courses offered by The Trust help young people aged 11-30 to develop essential life skills, get ready for work and access job opportunities. We support them to find work because having a job or running a business can lead to a more stable, fulfilling life.
Since The Trust was founded by The Prince of Wales in 1976 we have helped more than a million young people across the UK, and three in four of those we supported over the last five years have moved into work, education or training.
We are committed to enabling even more young people to create a better future for themselves. By helping young people today, the benefits for them, their communities and the wider economy will be felt for years to come.
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