Pret A Manger has opened applications for the 2015 intake of its School Leavers Programme. 

The sandwich chain is looking to recruit a further 35 students to join its year-long programme, aimed at school leavers who want to start up the career ladder rather than seek higher education.

Each applicant is given a full-time shop-based role from late September, as well as access to Pret’s training, support and work skills courses. By the end of the year, they qualify with an Advanced Level 3 Apprenticeship and a guaranteed, permanent role.

Students start on £7.90 per hour in London or £7.70 outside with paid breaks and an additional bonus after 10 days plus 28 days’ holiday, free food during shifts and a discount.

Kate Nicholls. Pret’s School Leavers Programme Manager, said: “2015 will be the fourth year of the programme and we’re proud to have seen some truly inspiring participants come through so far.

“From our initial intake, we now have two team leaders and one who’s now a manager, less than three years after leaving school.”

Almost 80% of managers at Pret began as team members, which Nicholls believes encourages new participants to the programme.

She added: “We don’t expect our participants to have lots of work experience under their belts or a CV full of qualifications. Instead we’re looking for passionate, enthusiastic, motivated individuals, who are excited by their next challenge and raring to get going. Being able to get to one of our shops by 6am is also a must, so they shouldn’t be too averse to early starts.”