Supermarket chain Waitrose has today announced plans to roll out a 12-month apprenticeship scheme offering up to 200 apprenticeships across the business.
Launching in September, the training offers a focused alternative to traditional education at a time when many school-leavers are contemplating their futures and the grocer believes that the programme will teach many of the skills needed for a career in the retail industry.
Each apprentice will receive a Level 2 Retail Apprenticeship qualification at the end of the scheme, which is open to young people who “have little or no work experience,” according to the retailer.
All new branches will offer as many as three apprenticeships from opening day while convenience stores will look to recruit one apprentice each and existing branches are also likely to offer these as and when vacancies are available.
The roll out follows a trial over the past year which saw 13 stores running the programme for a total of 41 candidates, and Waitrose explained that it will seek to offer additional apprenticeships across the business, including in Maintenance, Distribution, Catering and Customer Services.
Learning & Development Manager at Waitrose Tanya Cooper explained the significance of such a scheme given the current climate.
“It’s important to Waitrose that, in these difficult economic times, we give young people opportunities to develop their careers - they are the future of our business and our industry,” she said.
“Our apprenticeship scheme will give candidates a great insight into our business and help them to develop many valuable skills which they can apply throughout the retail sector.”