Food & Drink

Food for thought: New eatery Pho helps drive down youth unemployment with Harpurhey job offers

Manchester’s latest culinary arrival, Vietnamese street food restaurant Pho, is helping drive down youth unemployment by giving youngsters a chance to join their team.

Ahead of its eagerly-anticipated opening in the newly revamped Corn Exchange, Pho has given nine young people jobs as part of the company’s commitment towards socially responsible recruitment.

Earlier this summer, The Factory Youth Zone, a charity run youth centre in Harpurhey where youth unemployment is more than 16%, hosted an open recruitment day for local young people pursuing a career in hospitality.

Equipped with resources and skills from The Factory Youth Zone course, eleven candidates then had the chance to interview with Pho’s general manager for a job at the company’s new restaurant in Manchester.

As part of the three-week hospitality training course, Pho’s head of people, Lucy Taylor, lead an informational training session with 11 recruits to explain the company’s story, ethos and culture.

She then hosted a series of mock interviews to enhance and improve the candidates’ career development. The recruits also spent a day training in Pho’s Leeds restaurant with the front of house team.

Ms Taylor said: “Working with The Factory Youth Zone and the young people has been a fantastic experience and we are so happy to have made so many successful hires. All of the recruits were so engaged throughout their training and their effort has paid off for them.

 “The unemployment rate in Harpurhey is 16.2% – almost double that of the national average (7.5%) – and as a new employer in the city, we have a responsibility to decrease this as much as possible.

“The Factory Youth Zone has been instrumental in this process and we plan to continue working with similar programmes as we expand across the country.”

The Factory Youth Zone provides a unique and exciting place where anyone aged 8-21 can discover a vast range of activities and opportunities for just 50p each session. 

Mindi Leonard, Employability Coordinator and leader of the employment course said: “The course was a huge success with all the young people engaged throughout.  The continued support and involvement from Pho was extremely beneficial throughout the course. 

“As a charity we are always looking for new businesses to work with and actively encourage them to support young people in to employment.  Pho have a fantastic working ethos and I am excited to continue the relationship we have developed.”

Pho is set to open its doors in the Corn Exchange on August 28.

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