We’ve just been included in the National Apprentice Service’s ‘Top 100 Employers’, recognising our excellence in developing apprentices.

Looking at our track record in the area it’s no surprise why. We currently have around 700 apprentices working in Funeralcare, Food, CLS, General Insurance and support centre functions with plans in place to grow this across other business areas; and more than 3,000 apprentices have gone through our programmes since 2011.

We also take a leading role in the industry, chairing the ‘Retail Trailblazer’ group that developed apprenticeship standards for the retailing sector, working alongside other major players like Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, John Lewis, Debenhams and Superdrug.

Two of our apprentices, Daniel Smith and Lois McClure also featured in a recent poster campaign throughout Greater Manchester, to promote apprenticeships. Daniel started with us at 19 and was a Funeral Director at 22, and Lois (a previous winner of the National Intermediate Apprentice of the Year), is Chair of our Young Members Board – and after being promoted a number of times, works in our Group Marketing team.

richard_craig%2520%255b1%255dPicking up our award at the ceremony last Friday on behalf of the Co-op, was Craig Whaites, our Head of Leadership & Learning [pictured on the right]. Craig was congratulated by Robert Halfon, the Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships [pictured on the left], who said that he admired the work we’ve been doing in this area.

Craig said:

“Being listed in the top 100 is a testament to the fantastic work of many colleagues across our Co-op. It’s a demonstration of us ‘Succeeding Together’ in action! Our ambition is to be really famous for our apprenticeship programmes – providing new and existing colleagues with a brilliantly unique learning experience that only the Co-op can offer. Apprenticeships are at the heart of our colleague strategy and 2017 will see us take our programmes to a whole new level, providing colleagues with opportunities across all parts of our Co-op.”

You’ll hear more about our Apprenticeship Programmes in the coming weeks, but in the meantime if you’re interested in knowing more about apprenticeship opportunities, please ask your HR Business Partner for more information.