Ambition Retail, the high profile Government-sponsored initiative to find jobs with retailers for the unemployed, has so far achieved extremely modest results.
The scheme, launched last February and endorsed by the BRC, was designed to get 1,000 people retail jobs by next year.
Twelve months on, only 44 unemployed people have bagged jobs in the sector as a result of the programme. To date, 135 people have joined the scheme.
According to a spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions: 'It's early days. We expect our target to be met. There's still two years to go.'
Ambition Retail went live in Gateshead last June and was then extended to Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow and Redditch. The programme was created by the National Employment Panel in conjunction with the BRC and was part of the Government's drive to get 50,000 'New Dealers' in retail jobs by 2005.