Coffee chain Costa is planning to expand a Bristol-based trial that saw it employ previously jobless young people after a successful partnership with The Prince's Trust.
Throughout 2014, it will focus on rolling out the successful scheme in cities suffering from high youth unemployment such as Manchester and Glasgow.
Part of the Whitbread group, Costa provided a 10-day course with work experience for a group of local unemployed young people. Everyone who completed the course received a certification, with the best students receiving jobs at Costa.
The move formed part of the chain's involvement with the Prince's Trust "Get Into…" scheme, which aims to offer short courses to unemployed people aged 16 to 25. The programme especially focuses on equipping young people them with useful skills in a specific sector, such as catering.
Julie Tindale, head of HR for Costa Retail, said: "This initiative gives us the opportunity to reach out to our local community and give young people a means to becoming more employable, by offering our support and providing barista training. It is also very motivating for our own staff to be involved in the programme and help young people in their area to get on the first rung of their career ladder."
Already one of the largest coffee chains in the UK with more than 1,600 stores, Costa employs more than 11,000 people nationwide. It is expanding, looking to create more than 4,500 jobs over the next three years.
Its recent involvement in the hospitality and catering industry include initiatives with Sodexo foodservice firm and Marriott Hotels.