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John Lewis jobseeker case study

Snapshot of John Lewis

A better way of doing business - bringing quality to life through a better way of doing business, from our unique Partnership structure to our commitment to reducing our impact on the environment. Supporting out community - bringing quality to life through the communities we touch, whether it's the one just outside our shops, or one of our suppliers on another continent.

Watch our video, download our case study or read the article below.

The Employer

We started placing customers from Interserve in John Lewis in March and we’ve had one person every Monday since. Each individual placement lasts for about six weeks and the role typically depends on the person, their experience, what they want to gain and their confidence when they start. If someone isn’t so confident, we’ll help build them up and start them in a ‘Back of House’ role to begin with so they gain experience working in a team with our internal staff. Once their confidence starts to strengthen and we see them develop, we’ll bring them into a ‘Front of House’ role to meet and greet our customers.

A couple of people we’ve worked with haven’t been very confident to begin with but by the end of their placement they’ll come in, they’ll know their role and they’ll interact with customers a lot more naturally. I’ve seen people come out of their shell a lot more, when they start they seem to be very shy, even with members of our team let alone dealing with general customers. Yet when they finish they seem to beam with confidence, they’ve developed so much and their communication skills with customers seem a lot better. We teach other skills too, we’re a catering operation and so those that join us gain their Food Safety Level 1 during their time at John Lewis – I’m happy to share that the Interserve customers have all passed and completed that. These are all skills that they could take with them to other businesses too, which is a big thing that they’re gaining and something we’re proud to be supporting them with.

The Customer

I was referred to Interserve from Jobcentre Plus after receiving Employment Support Allowance (ESA). The team at JCP told me Interserve could help me get my confidence back and that they could point me in the right direction. I was given a case manager by Interserve quickly after first visiting their branch, Sherry, and she has been a constant support for me throughout my time training at John Lewis. I hadn’t considered hospitality until I started this placement, but having been introduced to the idea I decided to take on a new challenge.

I enjoyed the placement very much and so I approached the management team at John Lewis and asked them to keep my details on file in case a role becomes available. Since meeting Interserve and working at John Lewis on a work placement, my confidence levels are higher than they have been in a long time. I would like to work in hospitality now, having had this taster and ideally a position at John Lewis would be perfect but the confidence boost I’ve had means I’m not shy of applying for a hospitality role with a different employer if I need to.


At Interserve Learning & Employment we’re able to give help and advice to all clients, particularly those who are taking on an apprentice for the first time. We pride ourselves on evaluating each applicant sufficiently. This helps to match the right candidate to the right role. Our specialist Trainer Assessors can ensure both the client and learner are happy throughout the process. Contact us today to speak to one of our dedicated team and we can help you to find your perfect match.