John Lewis launches apprenticeship scheme
John Lewis has announced the launch of its first ever apprenticeship programme as it looks to create a new primary source of recruitment for future talent.
The department store chain will take on 80 apprentices in 2012, all of whom will be guaranteed employment when they complete their training.
John Lewis said the scheme will provide young people with sustainable career path and will be a genuine alternative to university. With two levels of training the programme will include the Modern Apprenticeship Scheme, which is open to young people who have left school at the age of 16, and the Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme for young people who have completed A-Levels.
Both schemes are one year programmes and if completed successfully, apprentices on the Modern scheme will be awarded the equivalent of five GCSEs and those on the Advanced scheme will be given the equivalent of two additional A-levels. The rollout of the programme follows a successful pilot across five John Lewis shops in 2011.
Laura Whyte, personnel director, John Lewis, explained: "This apprenticeship programme has long been an aspiration for us. We see it as a route to give young people a genuine alternative to further education as well as begin long-term careers at John Lewis.
"It was important for us to develop, own and manage our own dedicated programme, one that fits with our co-ownership model, and our values as well as aligns with our long term growth strategy. We hope to extend its scope by at least 25% in 2013, and offer tailored programmes in retail and IT."
The one year curriculum will set apprentices on a career development programme which will give them the skills required to progress to John Lewis’s more senior management roles. Successful apprentices will work in a variety of positions and be given significant responsibility early on.
All apprentices will automatically become Partners and have access to all benefits and reward programmes.
Andy Street, managing director, John Lewis, said: "Although the jobs market is slowly getting better, we recognise that young people are some of the most affected by unemployment. At John Lewis, we have always employed a large number of young people, but our apprenticeships scheme really formalises this attitude.
"We see this as a primary source of recruitment for future talent and have already been blown away by how savvy the young people from our first intake are."
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