Budget outfits for jobseekers
Kent charity Demelza Hospice for Children and careers company Debut are helping jobseekers choose the correct clothes for the workplace on the cheap.
The Dress to Impress scheme allows job seekers to kit themselves out with the right attire to ace an interview for just £10.
The move to provide advice alongside low-cost clothing is to help alleviate financial burdens on the unemployed, particularly young adults looking for their first paid-for post after research revealed 72% of career hopefuls aged 16-23 didn’t know where to start.
The Maidstone branch in the Royal Star Arcade is one of three town centre Demelza stores across the county taking part in the campaign. The others are in Tonbridge and Canterbury.
Ashley Henson, director of retail for Demelza said: “There’s lots in the news about fashion and recycling at the moment and the opportunity to look after some of our younger customers.
“We’re aiming for our 16-24-year-old audience and we wanted to help them with their career development and with opportunities to interview and linking in to the work that Debut do and the Charity Retail Association. It’s a nice partnership between the three of us.”
When asked about some of the advice customers would get in store, Ashley Henson added: “We would certainly recommend that they look at the organisation’s dress code, we’ve had lots of chat about when we’ve gone for interviews and sometimes felt like we were either too smart or a little under-dressed.
“But we would point them in the right direction and we could certainly help with looking up details of the company, but we would say, do you want to be smart, do you want to be formal, do you want a whole outfit? Or do you want to accessorize?
“Sometimes walking in with a leather binder with your CV in it is a great first impression, so we can help in all areas.”
Paul Carroll, manager at Demelza’s Royal Star Arcade store said: “It’s also for the bigger picture, for people who are changing careers or who have been out of the workplace for a long time, so it’s for everyone just a cheap, good quality outfit they can wear for interviews.
“We haven’t just stuck to suits and skirts, there’s a wide range of careers nowadays.”
Rob Byrne tries Demelza’s new scheme with Ashley Henson, director of retail and Paul Carroll, manager
TV fashion expert Amber Butchart is behind the initiative pioneered by Demelza and Debut