Supporting the Workforce of the Future

After graduating high school, 18-year-old Georgia was uncertain of what her next steps should be in finding a good job. She dreamed of someday having a career in retail, but without the right educational and employment opportunities to help her start down a career path, she was baffled. She struggled for a year, applying for jobs without success.

Like Georgia, Paul, 21, had a passion for retail, but did not have the experience or opportunity to hone his skills. Unemployed for almost a year, Paul found himself bored and uncertain about his future.

Unfortunately, the struggles faced by these U.K. young people is not unique. According to the Office for National Statistics, 865,000 young people (aged 16 to 24) in the U.K. were not employed, in a training program or in school from January to March 2016.1 TJX Europe is committed to helping vulnerable young people like Georgia and Paul achieve their potential. We do this by partnering with The Prince's Trust, which is dedicated to equipping young people with the skills, tools, training and confidence they need to transform their lives and succeed.

For four years now, T.K. Maxx has worked with The Prince's Trust on their Get Into Retail program, which offers disadvantaged young people the skills and training to enable them to succeed in a retail career. Participants in the program learn basic career skills, such as interviewing techniques and applying for a job, and benefit from combining classroom-based training with an in-store mentor. By the end of 2015, we had completed 27 programs across the U.K., supporting over 400 young people during this time. This year we are running a total of 15 programs. In addition to this Get Into Retail training, we have been able to offer employment opportunities to the majority of program participants following course completion.

Both Georgia and Paul completed the program and were hired to work at T.K. Maxx, and both have aspirations of store management in the future.

Countless numbers of our Associates have helped support these programs and helped make them as successful as possible while simultaneously transforming the lives of young people.

In 2016, we're excited to announce that HomeSense is lending its support to help vulnerable young people as well. HomeSense has begun an in-store cause marketing campaign to support The Prince's Trust's newly formed Achieve program, raising vital funds to help disadvantaged young people across the U.K. achieve their potential within education.

In celebration of The Prince's Trust 40th anniversary this year, the organization is re-connecting with some of the people whose lives it has touched. A special trailer fitted with an interactive photo/video booth for capturing memories toured the U.K. in April, visiting The Prince's Trust centers and corporate partners - including HomeSense stores - along the way. Visit the Prince's Trust website to learn more.

Supporting organizations like The Prince's Trust is a meaningful effort at TJX. Like the Get Into Retail program, the Youth Business Institute (YBI) in the U.S. also supports vulnerable young people in their efforts to have greater success in school and the workforce. The 11-week personal and professional development program is designed to provide high school students with basic skills and training for success in the classroom and the retail workplace. Launched in 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia, the program now partners with 17 high schools spanning 12 U.S. cities and Puerto Rico.

Whether it's shopping for business attire, or brushing up on interview skills, students are exposed to a wide range of hands-on and classroom-based workshops taught by TJX volunteers and staff from participating schools. The program also fosters students' career exploration and concludes with a graduation ceremony.

Since 2012, YBI has awarded over $730,000 in scholarships to students, graduated more than 1,100 young people, and hired nearly 600 graduates into part-time or full-time positions within the Company.

To learn more about what TJX is doing to support families and children in need, visit the Our Communities section of our CR website.

1 According to the Office for National Statistics.

Posted: October 2016

You get out what you put in, I really enjoyed it! It's good to help people who really want to get on in life.

- Store Manager

The Prince's Trust program is a very good way to recruit people. It's very hard to judge people on an interview alone. This way we really get to know them as individuals first.

- Assistant Store Manager