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VF Helps Students Get #VFit for the Job

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VF Helps Students Get #VFit for the Job

September 8, 2016

VF Corporation is partnering with a London-based grassroots nonprofit organization to work with at-risk students. This new initiative, #VFit, provides UK-based associates with a unique opportunity to contribute to the social and economic growth of their communities while also furthering VF’s business priorities. 

#VFit, launched in collaboration with PhotoView PVCL Creative Learning Company (PVCL), targets students between the ages of 16 and 20 and who are vulnerable or at-risk of falling behind or dropping out of mainstream education. The program also targets youth who are or at risk of becoming “NEET” (not in education, employment or training). 

“VF associates around the world are helping to make their communities stronger, and this London-based program with PVCL is a great example of those efforts,” said Kate Macatney, VF HR Retail Manager UK & Ireland. “The initial launch of this program has been such a success that we are looking at expanding it to other VF locations around the world.”

The program encourages students to complete a range of photography, film, editing and writing tasks as well as creating a real-life business brief with support from specially-trained VF store managers who serve as business coaches. With the help of VF volunteer business coaches, students participating in the program work on developing essential skills, including communications, teamwork, presentations/public speaking, problem solving, decision-making and negotiation.

A total of 16 students participated in the program. After the initial program was completed, students were invited to attend a customer service training workshop facilitated VF’s Retail Learning & Development team. The students were certified on customer service standards and invited to enroll in a work experience program in The North Face®, Timberland® and Vans® stores. 

Most of the students who participated in the program applied and worked as part-time sales associates over a two-week period, using the skills they learned from the customer service training and the knowledge they gained from the project itself. They served customers, stocked merchandise and shadowed the management team to learn more about the retail environment. 

After the two weeks, some of the students were hired to work part-time in VF’s brand stores in London and are successful assets in the stores. 

#VFit’s philosophy is to help young people understand the implications of their decisions and be supported to learn and implement strategies that help them to secure job opportunities beyond the classroom.

For more information, visit creativelearningco.com.