Marks & Spencer is very proud to work closely with four Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) programmes and to provide sponsorship on an annual basis. Marks & Spencer Ireland is the lead sponsor of the Schools’ Business Partnership (SBP) – a programme which aims to address key issues in areas of educational inclusion in Ireland. We have partnerships with local schools through the SBP Skills @ Work programme. Staff help students gain an insight into life after school and the programme provides for site visits, CV workshops, mock interviews, interview skills techniques and feedback etc.
The Ready for Work programme is a unique initiative that provides work experience and guidance to people who are looking to move on from homelessness into employment or training. Working in conjunction with the Simon Community, Marks & Spencer supports individuals by offering them an opportunity to gain valuable work experience for three weeks. During that time, they are part of a team and have the structure of a working environment. For most of the participants in this programme, the real benefit is in improving their self-confidence and some have gained full time employment with us.
In 2018, to help us give back to the communities that we live and work in, Marks & Spencer (Ireland) Ltd partnered with 61 community organisations across Ireland, including Make a Wish Foundation, Pieta House, Inner City Helping Homeless and Rainbow Club. Through these community links, our employees gave 1,083 volunteer hours and fundraised €109,134, in addition to company support of €103,654 in cash donations and €164,725 worth of in-kind donations.