Pret A Manger to Offer 500 New Jobs in the UK

Pret A Manger announced to create 1,000 jobs throughout the world with 500 positions to be offered in the UK. The move came as the sandwich chain posts profits and expands operations. Check out the rest of the story in the following news.

Online PR News – 24-April-2013 – London – Pret A Manger plans to generate 1,000 jobs worldwide; 500 of which will be in the UK amidst rising sales and profits. Specifically, the fresh baguette-maker posted GBP443 million in sales and GBP52.4 million in profits with both representing 17% increase from the figures in the same period last year.

The UK-based company is believed to face pressure to ensure that most of the job openings will really go to local workers. It received criticisms earlier for allegedly favouring foreign employees.

Pret’s management tried to address calls to increase local staffing levels from London mayor Boris Johnson and UK’s former employment minister Chris Gayling. It was revealed that British workers constituted 20% of the company’s workforce in 2012 compared to 17% in 2011.

Clive Schlee, Pret’s chief executive, says, “We are pleased that we have seen some encouraging signs and that the number of British workers at Pret has increased. But this is not a Pret issue, this an industry-wide issue and there is no quick fix.”

In connection, a school-leavers’ programme was recently launched to raise awareness about jobs being offered to pupils who will be leaving school this year. Mr Schlee says the company aims to expand its school-leavers’ programme and continue its efforts to attract more local applicants.

“We will always employ the very best people at Pret and we celebrate the rich diversity of our workplace and the atmosphere that brings to our shops,” the CEO adds.

The school-leavers’ programme ends in September, and until that time, the 500 positions will be opened to all foreigners allowed to work in the UK. They will be subjected to a 12-week training period, a standard practice of the company.

The food chain has gone through a major expansion last year, opening 36 new stores. The management revealed that the company’s expansion was made possible by negotiating lower rents in light of high-street decline. The company further disclosed that it is mulling a refurbishment plan that encourages customers to eat in rather than take away food.

In 2008, private equity investment firm Bridgepoint bought Pret from its founders Sinclair Beecham and Julian Metcalfe for GBP345 million. Pret operates 323 stores worldwide, including the US, Paris, and Hong Kong.

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