Four unemployed youngsters are being offered work placements at the Bradford store of Marks & Spencer as part of a national programme that has seen many candidates land full-time jobs.

The retail giant – headed by former Morrisons boss Marc Bolland – has joined forces with youth charity The Prince’s Trust to offer places in Bradford on its new youth employability scheme – Make Your Mark..

It comes as youth unemployment in Bradford has reached 9,000 , according to the latest ONS labour market statistics, with more than one in five 16-24 year olds in the labour force struggling to find jobs. In the district.

Bradford is one of the 42 areas across the UK to run the September programme of Make Your Mark, an on-the-job training and mentoring programme designed to tackle the skills and experience gap that prevents unemployed 16 and 24 year-olds from finding work.

The first session was held in July and saw jobs offered to all participants who passed each element of the four week programme.

Participants will receive regular feedback and guidance from a dedicated 'buddy' and career coach to ensure they meet M&S customer service standards . Those who receive a satisfactory evaluation from their manager and buddy may be able to go straight into a vacancy if and when one becomes available.

If a young person requires additional support before getting a job , or if there is no vacancy available at their store, they will be offered up to six months post-programme support with The Prince’s Trust to find an alternative .

Robin Rogers, manager at M&S in Darley Street, Bradford, said: “There are hundreds of thousands of young people across the UK struggling to find work and we’re extremely proud to be helping to support some of those through the Make Your Mark programme.

"We hope to make a real and lasting impact on the lives of the young people coming through the programme at M&S Bradford.”

Make Your Mark is inspired by Marks & Start, the retailer's employability scheme for young people facing barriers into employment.

Since 2004 it has enabled more than 1,100 youngsters to complete placement in stores and offices across the country, with 50 per cent gaining employment either with M&S or another programme within three months.

Make Your Mark has a commitment to support even more people by creating 1,400 places in a youth-focussed programme.

To find out more about the next programme in Bradford call 0800 842 842 or visit