The next two locations for Retail Ready People, an inspiring programme which sees thirty young people devise, plan and open a pop up shop, have been announced. Retail Ready People, a project from vInspired and Retail Trust devised in collaboration with the Empty Shops Network’s founder Dan Thompson, will work in Leeds and Rochdale in the first six months of 2013.
The 12 week skills development and volunteering programme is a massive investment in young people in the two towns. The locations have been chosen after successful pilot project in Brighton and Enfield, with an aim of spreading the experience across England. Ellen, 24 from Enfield, said of Retail Ready People, “I was motivated to take part for my Son. To show him I can be a strong single mum and give him a good future.”
In Leeds and Rochdale, the programme will enlist up to thirty 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.
“Retail Ready People is leading a quiet revolution to help young people get a stake on the high street and that’s why I approached them to make Rochdale’s case to pilot this fantastic scheme.” says Simon Danczuk, MP for Rochdale, “I want to see young people have a bigger say in shaping the future of our high street and this is a great opportunity for local people to get the training, support and experience to turn their business ideas into reality. I’ve always said we have a lot of talented young people in the Borough and they are crying out for a chance like this to show what they’re capable of.”
Young people aged 16-25 who want to apply for the free training programme and open a pop up shop should visit the vInspired website. Possible partners – for example landlords, local authorities, business or organisations working with young people – should contact the Empty Shops Network.