A quarter of the new jobs created by Lincoln’s upcoming Tesco Extra will be filled by local residents who have been long-term unemployed.
A scheme, called the Regeneration Partnership programme, is part of a partnership between the new supermarket on Wragby Road and Jobcentre Plus to reserve 23 of 80 new positions at the store.
The positions are for people who have been out of employment for six months or more.
Participants in the scheme were selected based on their attitude rather than formal qualifications.
Next, the applicants did two weeks of pre-employment training at Lincoln College, covering customer service to teamwork and building skills and confidence.
Everyone who completed the training was guaranteed a job in Tesco.
To celebrate their new roles, a graduation ceremony was held for new recruits at Lincoln College, where they were presented with certificates in CIEH Food Safety in Retail Level 2 and EDI Certificate in Retail Knowledge Level 1.
Employment and Skills Advisor Sean Knight said the college has always worked with Lincoln Jobcentre Plus to get unemployed people back into work.
“We were delighted to be invited by Tesco to develop and run the programme and even more pleased that despite initially only having 20 vacancies, the company decided to take on all 23 of the candidates,” he explained.
“This is one of a number of employment initiatives we’ve worked with the job centre on, having previously trained staff for the likes of Premier Inn and Dunelm Mill.
“It’s very rewarding to see people who were previously unemployed getting back on the career ladder and we would like to congratulate all of the trainees on their achievement.”
Tesco store manager David Waldron said: “Unemployment is real problem in Lincoln and in these tough times it’s great that we are able to create jobs for our local community and help get people back into work.
“Many of the new colleagues joining us through the scheme have been unemployed for some time, and it is really inspiring to see how much gaining a job with us means to them and their families.
“I can’t wait to start working with them to serve customers at our exciting new store.”
The new store will open on May 15, with 450 people working there, including existing staff transferring from the old premises.