Next launches major new apprenticeship scheme
High street chain Next has launched a new apprenticeship programme which will see 1,000 new employees being added to its 40,000 strong workforce.
The ‘Next Retail Apprentice Programme’ is being publicised through adverts in the retailer’s 550 stores and via an internet campaign.
1,000 people will be recruited from across the country and will start the intensive six month programme. Once completed, candidates will gain a Level 2 Apprenticeship consisting of a Level 2 Diploma in retail, a Certificate in retail knowledge and key skills, (literacy and numeracy).
The announcement was welcomed by Skills Minister, John Hayes MP, who last year announced a major drive to boost skills in the retail industry, backed by additional cash for training.
Hayes said: “The commitment by Next to train 1,000 young people using modern apprenticeships is great news and shows the flexibility and versatility of the apprenticeship.
“The Coalition is firmly committed to up-skilling the UK’s workforce and is deploying significant additional resources to boost training.”
The programme has been developed in conjunction with Pera Training, which has delivered apprenticeships to companies such as Jaguar, Land Rover, and Thales. It is supported and backed by the National Apprenticeship Service, NAS, which oversees the delivery of apprenticeships across the England.
Richard Grice, managing director of Pera Training said: “The ambitious programme has been designed to compliment Next’s existing training programme and has been trialed through a pilot scheme, launched earlier this year.
“Next, one of the UK’s leading high street retails already had a well developed training programme, but wanted to move this to the next level, with formal accreditation and a nationally recognised programme. A modern apprenticeship does exactly this."
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