Holland & Barrett drops work scheme
Jul 08 2012
A leading health food retailer threatened with protests over its involvement with the Government's work experience programme has pulled out of the scheme.
Holland & Barrett said it was treating the safety of its staff and customers with great importance.
The company, which has been supporting the programme for more than a year, said it was now launching its own apprentice scheme.
A group called Boycott Workfare is planning a series of protests across the country over the next week, including plans to target Holland & Barrett stores.
A company statement said: "Holland & Barrett has been working with the Government on a voluntary work experience scheme to provide retail skills to 18 to 24-year-olds. As a direct result of these eight-week placements, more than 200 young people have gone on to successfully be appointed to permanent positions within the company.
"We remain committed to helping young people find work, and have worked with the Department for Work and Pensions for over a year on the current scheme. We take our responsibilities as a retailer and employer very seriously, and any possible compromise to the safety of our staff and customers from opponents of our work experience scheme is treated with great importance.
"This factor, together with the planned introduction of a new full-time, salaried apprentice scheme, means that the 60 people currently undertaking the work experience scheme will be the last to complete the eight-week placement. After this time, Holland & Barrett will not participate further in the scheme."
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