How can a sandwich shop help improve employability?
Pret recognised the complex issues faced by homeless people and decided to try and break this cycle and give them a fresh start. When you’re homeless and living on the streets, you face the obvious challenges of no roof over your head, nowhere safe or warm to sleep, and no access to cooking or bathroom facilities. What a lot of people don’t realise, is that if you don’t have a fixed address, it’s difficult to get a bank account, and without a bank account, it’s tricky to get a job. If you have a criminal record or have been in prison the situation becomes even more problematic.
In 2008, the organisation set up its Rising Stars programme. It works with 50 Rising Stars each year and provides training in Pret A Manger shops, as well as one-to-one counselling, creative art sessions, and supportive chat groups. After three months, the Rising Stars graduate to become full team members with a permanent contract. Pret A Manger is understandably proud of its Rising Stars and the hard work they do to transform their lives.
Then, in 2015, Pret A Manger developed its Shooting Stars programme. Each year, eight Rising Star graduates take part in an eight-month programme that further develops their skills, helping to enhance their career prospects – whether that’s at Pret or not. They learn how to work as part of a team, give and receive feedback, and how to create a personal development plan.
This story shows how Pret A Manger supports Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, specifically Target 8.5: “By 2030, achieve full and productive employment for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value.”
Pret A Manger is an international sandwich shop chain based in the UK. It was founded in 1986, by college friends Julian Metcalfe and Sinclair Beecham who were sick of processed food and impersonal service. In the early days, ‘Pret’ only sold 12 coffees a day – today the company sells 1.4 million – every day!
Learn more about Pret A Manger.