Ten pop ups, in ten different places, each one created by thirty young people from the local area. That’s Retail Ready People, a project from vInspired and Retail Trust devised in collaboration with the Empty Shops Network’s founder Dan Thompson.
Young people in England aged 16 – 25 are being given the opportunity to take part in a new 12 week skills development and volunteering programme, and the first two projects – in Brighton and Enfield – are now recruiting.
The programme will enlist young people who want to start careers in retail, alongside those already working in the retail sector. During a three-day residential, they’ll be introduced to the idea of pop ups, and given the freedom to imagine new uses for empty shops on the high street. Working as part of a 30-strong team of young volunteers, they’ll take part in a free training programme to develop key skills in areas like design, marketing, communication and display. They’ll then put their training into action by transforming an empty shop into a creative retail space, right at the heart of the community. The programme really is action-packed, and will deliver real skills while firing up young people’s entrepreneurial spirit.
“We’re very excited as over 30% of the retail sector workforce is made up of 16-24 year olds, more than double the all-industry average for the UK of 13%,” says Nigel J L Rothband, Chief Executive of Retail Trust, “and we want to support community collaboration between retailers and youth and to encourage local regeneration through the use of empty units on our high street and within town centres.”
Young people can apply now for the first project, in Enfield and in Brighton. Another eight locations are currently being scouted, from the top of the country to the very bottom, so watch this space for more opportunities.