Innovative free training course to create opportunities for 17-24 year olds

An innovative scheme which will help young people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds with little or no work experience to develop the skills and confidence to be able to enter the world of work has been launched today by the Damilola Taylor Trust (DTT) and the Co-op.

The free 3-month Career Search and Skills Development Programme CSSD will use a whole range of learning tools to support the young people on the programme to improve their skills in job-searching, CV writing, presentation, communication, team working and self-management so that they can stand a real good chance in securing jobs.

Individuals interested in Retail or Logistics will also have the opportunity to apply for a permanent role in the Co-op and, potentially, join the apprenticeship programme of the Co-op.

This is the second year the DTT has run the programme, working with their delivery partner Hudl Youth Development Agency but the first time it has had the backing of the Co-op.

A 2018 participant said: “I will definitely recommend the CSSD programme to others, because I have learnt a lot while doing the programme. I have met great people, I have also learnt how to better myself as a person.”

Another previous course member said: “The thing I love most about the CSSD programme is the fact that the staff are so involved in our futures, and they love trying to make us feel involved in all the activities.”

To apply to join the 2019 CSSD programme, which is free to attend, complete the application form at, recruitment is open from 25 June until 31 August. The main learning activities of the programme will run from September to December 2019.

Richard Taylor, founder and trustee of The Damilola Taylor Trust commented: “One of the factors that causes disadvantaged inner-city youths to be isolated from society is unequal access to opportunities. Access to opportunities for training and gainful employment is the strongest enabler of productive participation and integration into society for anyone. We are therefore delighted that our Career Search and Skills Development Programme will be delivered again this year to provide young people opportunity to acquire crucial skills for competing effectively in the jobs market. We are grateful to the Co-op for supporting us to deliver this programme again in 2019”.

Paul Gerrard, Director of Campaigns at the Co-op, said: “We believe that by providing employment opportunities we can have a massive impact on the lives of these young people. By teaming up with the Damilola Taylor Trust in this way we cannot only support communities in which we operate but also where our members live and work. We are so proud to be able to stand with Richard and the Damilola Taylor Trust on this important issue.”

For more details about the course or to apply please go to

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