Applications to the Pret School Leavers Programme (SLP) are now open.
Now in its sixth year, Pret hopes to recruit up to 120 participants, with various start dates scheduled over the next few months. The aim of the year-long programme is to give young people the opportunity and support to start their careers straight away, while also gaining an apprenticeship. Available to school leavers, gap year students and recent graduates across the UK, each successful applicant is given a full-time shop based role, with additional training, support and work skills courses. No matter their age, participants will be paid Pret’s starting salary of £7.85 or £7.65 an hour (depending on location), with eligibility to receive an extra £1 an hour weekly Mystery Shopper bonus, after 12 weeks. They will also receive Pret’s well-regarded benefits and perks, including weekly pay, free food on shift, a 50% discount when not, paid breaks, 28 days’ holiday, and free work shoes.* Interested applicants can visit www.pret.co.uk/school-leavers-programme to learn more or to register their interest. Below, Lily, a graduate from last year’s School Leavers Programme intake, shares her experience.
Lily, 22, London – uni graduate
I’ve been graduated from university for a year now. I heard about the School Leavers Programme through a family friend last July, but my initial thoughts were that I was “all studied out” - I didn’t want to have to study for another year. I wasn’t sure about the idea of an apprenticeship either as I’d always thought they were for people who knew exactly what they wanted to do in life, like a plumber or a hairdresser.
I remember being so nervous on my first day. I was worried it’d be really fast-paced and I’d be slow and rubbish. But over time it got much easier, and I became more confident. Before I joined Pret, I really underestimated how demanding hospitality work can be. Jobs like baristas are seen as low-skilled, but after going through my training, I can tell you they’re not!
The courses we attend throughout the year are really useful in building people skills and confidence. We even had ‘how to handle your money’ and ‘understanding taxes’ courses, which were things I hadn’t even learned in school.
Recently I was offered a one week placement in our Support Centre (head office) on the HelpDesk team, which works directly with shops and managers to resolve any problems they may have. It’s been a big challenge but I’ve enjoyed helping out and experiencing a different part of the company. I must have made a decent impact too, as I’ve been offered a longer term role with them!
If I could give advice to any young person considering joining the SLP this year, I’d say “Just go for it”, because even if you’re not sure it’ll be right for you, why not join a fun, fast-paced job, where you get paid weekly and meet loads of new people. You also get so much out of the training and you’ll gather skills and knowledge like negotiating, receiving feedback…and even how the company’s gross profit works!