By Mark Davidson
Retailers continue to lead the charge during National Apprenticeship Week, with supermarket Asda and retail and leisure destination Bluewater showing their commitment to training programmes.
Following Business Secretary Vince Cable’s call to businesses yesterday to increase apprenticeship opportunities in the years ahead, the retail industry representatives revealed how they are playing their part.
A statement from the grocer said: “At Asda we have a real commitment to helping young people get a foot in the door.
“Our apprenticeship scheme is just one of the ways that we develop and nurture young talent at Asda, and we ensure that only those who show a real passion for service get onto the scheme.
“We provide extensive training and support to help our apprentices develop and launch a successful career in retail.”
Asda announced in 2010 that it plans to expand its apprenticeship scheme, Flying the Flag, by creating 5,000 opportunities for young talent by the end of 2011. The firm also said that it wants to create 15,000 apprenticeship positions by 2015.
Meanwhile Bluewater kick-started National Apprenticeship Week by hosting an event bringing together cabinet members, retail managers and celebrities, who went back to the shop floor to merchandise the centre’s Pumpkin Patch store.
Andrew Parkinson, Bluewater General Manager, said: “We believe apprenticeships are a great way for people to begin a career in this industry.
“Apprenticeships are also invaluable to employers, creating confident, motivated and skilled individuals with a good balance of practical experience and formal qualifications.”