Customers are at the core of Asda’s business and it is proud of being in the heart of the communities it operates in. Many of these communities are seriously affected by youth unemployment and Asda has created the Opportunities for all Communities programme to offer a range of national and local initiatives to tackle this issue.
- Over the past five years, Asda has provided more than 2,000 young members of local communities with vocational qualifications they may not have otherwise had access to.
- In 2013, ASDA employed over 37,000 people aged 16-24 - a 14% increase on the 2011 figure.
- By working in partnership with other organisations such as Jobcentre Plus, Remploy and the Princes Trust, Asda have increased their reach and had a greater positive impact on young people.
- The employee survey shows that colleagues aged 21 or under are more engaged than the average Asda colleague.
- Graduate Retail programmes operate at an impressive 90% retention during the programme and 80% retention within five years; the majority of whom will by then occupy senior management roles.
- By creating an effective youth talent pipeline Asda has been able to beat its 2013 objective to fill 70% of the leadership team vacancies through internal promotion, filling over 80%.
“ I am passionate about building a business that is focussed on inspiring and developing our talent. There is a real role for businesses like ours to get closer to the education system. Businesses should take the opportunity to partner with schools and colleges to help shape students’ learning and development, so that school leavers are adequately prepared for the world of work and aware of the opportunities out there.
We have to get out of the mind-set of the choices being university or straight into work, and we need to do a better job of helping youngsters to understand all the opportunities available to them. ”
Asda stores and home offices are located near or within some of the government’s 20 hot spots with the highest levels of young people out of work and considered disadvantaged. Asda stepped up to help young people get jobs and develop their skills through its assisted programmes.
Opportunities for all Communities is a unique and all-encompassing approach to tackling youth unemployment locally and nationally, addressing barriers from school onwards:
The programme has created a structured, end-to-end talent pipeline: starting at age 14 with work experience opportunities, and continuing with ongoing support and learning and development opportunities leading to apprenticeships, and the industry’s first debt free Retail and Logistics Honours degree.
With partner organisations Asda also provides Work Placements and work clubs alongside the Get into Retail scheme with the Princes Trust, ensuring that Asda directly helps the growing number of young people who have encountered barriers to securing long-term employment.