Waitrose has thrown its weight behind two schemes aimed at helping young unemployed people gain jobs skills, including one with young offenders.

The grocer’s personnel team in Cambridgeshire will offer participants at Her Majesty’s Young Offender Institution (HMP/YOI) Littlehey in Cambridgeshire advice on CVs, job application forms and interview techniques.

Waitrose and HMP/YOI will also run sessions teaching young offenders completing a BTEC Business course about the structure of the John Lewis Partnership.

The scheme could be rolled out to other Young Offender Institutions across the country if successful, the retailer said.

The scheme comes as Waitrose will join a nationwide campaign, led by IGD and Jobcentre Plus, to tackle youth unemployment.

As part of the campaign, called Feeding Britain’s Future - Skills for Work Month, young unemployed people between the ages of 16 and 24 will be able to attend career skills workshops at their local Waitrose branch in September.

Topics will include how to complete job applications, mock interview practice and CV writing. Participants will also find out about career opportunities in the retail industry and take part in product knowledge sessions.

Waitrose personnel director Helen Hyde said: “The teams in our branches are really passionate about working with young people to help them develop their understanding of the food industry and inspire them in their endeavours to get into the workplace.”