This week is National Apprenticeship Week, a time to celebrate apprentices and encourage employers and students to think about apprenticeships.
At the Co-op we’re really positive about the skills, attitude and experiences that apprentices bring to our business – and the opportunities we can give them too. We have apprentices in all of our businesses and have supported over 4,000 apprentices since 2011. There are also plans to take on another 1,000 apprentices this year.
What makes our Apprenticeship strategy and programme unique is that we pay the same hourly rate that any other new starter joining us would receive – not just the minimum Apprenticeship wage (which starts at £3.50 per hour). Our Apprentices get exactly the same colleague benefits as everyone else and we offer a permanent contract from day one, so apprentices get job security and a feeling of belonging from the start.
A day in the life of Jasmine Joynt
In December last year our Deputy CEO Pippa met with a group of Insurance apprentices and was blown away by their enthusiasm and passion for the Co-op. The group included apprentices from our Co-op academies, who after a co-op education knew they wanted a career here.
One of these apprentices was Jasmine Joynt from Co-op Academy Manchester. After meeting Insurance CEO Mark Summerfield, Jasmine wrote to him with her suggestions on how to increase engagement between the Co-op and the academies.
The suggestions included asking new apprentices to go back and talk at their schools about how apprenticeships have worked for them. Another idea was to make ‘A day in the life of an apprentice’ videos, to encourage more students to apply.
Here’s the first of these videos, with Jasmine talking about her typical day:
If you or someone you know is interested in applying for an apprenticeship at the Co-op they’re all advertised on our job site – jobs.coop.co.uk