Health & beauty specialist Superdrug and the UK’s fourth largest grocer Morrisons are among the retailers leading the way in terms of providing apprenticeship opportunities in the UK.
As National Apprenticeship Week gets underway today, Superdrug has announced that it is aiming to recruit more than 500 new apprentices on to its training programme during the course of 2011, while Morrisons will train over 12,000 people.
Business Secretary Vince Cable has today marked the start of the National Apprenticeship Service event by urging British organisations to invest more money in training the workforce of tomorrow. He also increased the government’s budget for apprenticeships to more than £1,400 million in 2011-12.
He singled out Morrisons and Superdrug for their efforts in this field, and suggested that other companies should follow their lead.
Cable commented: “I want to reinforce the message to business and young people that apprenticeships are a first-class way to start a career.
“That is why my department has pledged to work to create some 75,000 additional adult places than those promised by the previous government.”
Morrisons’ investment in training will result in the grocer having more skilled butchers, bakers and fishmongers than its rivals, as well as an improvement in its overall customer service.
CEO of the supermarket Dalton Philips said he expects “a great return” from developing the firm’s own people.
Meanwhile Superdrug’s parent company AS Watson currently has more than 400 learners on its apprenticeship programme, with 650 having already achieved their qualifications.
Jo Mackie, AS Watson UK HR Director, remarked: “In our business we are incredibly aware of the value that apprenticeships bring the business.
“Our Team Academy training programme offers colleagues the confidence and skills they need to expand their learning and further their career.”