HUMAN RESOURCES | Staff Reporter, UK

Pret starts the sixth year of its School Leavers Programme

Applications to the Pret School Leavers Programme (SLP) are now open.

Now in its sixth year, Pret is hoping to recruit up to 120 participants, with various start dates scheduled over the next few months.

The aim of the year-long programme is to give young people the opportunity and support to start their careers straight away, while also gaining an apprenticeship.

Available to school leavers, gap year students and recent graduates across the UK, each successful applicant is given a full-time shop based role, with additional training, support and work skills courses.

Kate, 19, from Newcastle, said she wasn’t interested in uni. “I always knew I didn’t want to go to uni. I’ve had various hospitality jobs since I was 16, and love working in a fast-paced environment. I’ve always wanted to be in a managerial position but I wasn’t quite sure what my first step should be, so was interested when I heard about Pret’s School Leavers Programme.

“If I could give any advice to anyone considering the SLP, I would say “Just do it”. You’re not tied down with any student loans or with a 3 year course. You earn money each week and really feel like you’ve earnt it. It’s hard work, but all in all it’s an amazing experience.

University graduate Lily, 22, said, “Before I joined Pret I really underestimated how demanding hospitality work can be. Jobs like baristas are seen as low-skilled jobs but after going through my training, I can tell you they’re not! The courses we attend throughout the year are really useful in building people skills and confidence. We even had ‘how to handle your money’ and ‘understanding taxes’ courses, which were things I hadn’t even learnt in school.”

No matter their age, participants will be paid Pret’s starting salary of £7.85 or £7.65 an hour (depending on location), with eligibility to receive an extra £1 an hour weekly Mystery Shopper bonus, after 12 weeks. They will also receive Pret’s well-regarded benefits and perks, including weekly pay, free food on shift, a 50% discount when not, paid breaks, 28 days’ holiday, and free work shoes.

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