Pret A Manger – which recently flagged up concerns about recruiting staff in the wake of Brexit – is launching a work experience drive.

‘Pret’s Big Experience Week’ initiative will take place this summer and will offer 500 one-week work placements for 16 to 18-year-olds across the country. Participants will get exposure to various aspects of the business including food production, customer service, social responsibility and financial control.

Pret’s human resources director Andrea Wareham raised concerns at the House of Lords’ Economic Affairs committee last week that only one in 50 of its job applicants are British and that 65% of its employees were non-EU citizens.

Wareham said on Pret’s blog that working in hospitality won’t be for everyone, but she is confident the company could offer careers to many more Brits than they do today.

“In response to the audience member on Question Time who asked ‘Who will serve us our coffee in Pret?’ my answer is that our coffees will continue to be made by teams of passionate individuals from a variety of backgrounds,” Wareham said.

“This is a long-term challenge that Pret and the wider industry must meet to ensure hospitality is seen by Brits as a serious career choice.”