The Chief Executive of one of the UK's most successful retailers is urging other companies to follow his lead and support Street League.

Geoff Quinn of TM Lewin, the tailoring and business wear company, says that they would benefit from recruiting motivated young people and have the satisfaction of helping tackle youth unemployment.

Since opening their first store in 1898, TM Lewin have gone on to establish themselves as one of the finest tailors around, providing business wear throughout the UK and overseas.

TM Lewin have employed nine Street League graduates during the three years that they have supported the charity, and they are now rolling out a work placement scheme across the UK. 

Geoff says the company is reaping the rewards of employing Street League graduates.

He said: "I like the idea that we're giving people a chance to prove themselves. We've certainly had some great successes with people who have come to us through Street League and we're proud of the fact that they're still with us a number of years later.

"Young people bring energy to the workplace. I think it's really important to give people who have had a hard time a chance to show what they can do. My background is that I left school at 16 and went straight into work and therefore didn't go to university. I cut my teeth in the workplace and learnt about life.

"It's a great concept to actually get people to engage through a passion for sport because work is very much like sport - it's a team thing.

"That's the clever thing about Street League - it sucks you in with the sport and then it subliminally and more overtly teaches you skills that you didn't realise you were being taught until you actually go on a work placement. It's a concept that would work well in most places."

Geoff says applicants with degrees and qualifications aren't necessarily better suited to the job: "It's not about the qualifications you've got, it's about the attitude. There are some very clever people in Street League.

"To me, the biggest thing you need in life is common sense."

Geoff is proud to be tackling youth unemployment and urges other bosses to do the same. He said: "I think they're missing a huge opportunity to galvanise their own staff and to emotionally connect with their own company by helping young people. Everybody recognises the challenges and the problems. If you don't engage with it, why should you expect somebody else to engage with it?"

"Our involvement with Street League resonates through our staff. They like what we're doing. They enjoy working with those young people. Why wouldn't you do it? I can't think of a reason."