Morrisons is launching a scheme offering homeless people opportunities to work in its new stores.

It has joined forces with the Create Foundation, a not-for-profit company that helps former homeless people train and get back into employment. As part of a pilot, Morrisons will ­recruit about 20 people from Create at its store in Harehills, Leeds, which is set to open at the end of October.

Morrisons would roll out the scheme across its estate of new openings over the next 18 months, said group HR director Norman Pickavance, who also chairs Create. He added that he wanted to open the scheme up to other grocery ­retailers.

"These people are from socially excluded backgrounds and many of them have been rough sleepers," he said. "You have got a market where people have no experience and without experience they can't get a job. When we launch, Create will be inviting other retailers to get involved."

The former homeless people who want to get back into work are signed on to the Create Potential Employment Academy, where they are able to train in NVQ Level 1 as well as complete their food and ­hygiene certificates. Its first raft of 25 trainees from the Academy scheme graduated last weekend.

Morrisons was the winner of the Gold Awards Employer of the Year this year. It won the accolade for its key focus on training through its Morrisons Academy.