Sainsburys launches new apprenticeship scheme
Designed to help apprentices qualify for full-time team leader positions, the year-long scheme, called "You Can Be a Team Leader, Advanced Apprenticeship Level 3", is currently being rolled out in Sainsbury’s larger supermarkets across the country.
As well as being trained in new skills, apprentices will study for vocational qualifications, including City & Guilds training, leading to nationally recognised certificates that are the equivalent of two A-levels.
The retailer already provides job-related, diploma qualifications across a range of departments and City & Guilds accredited courses at Food Colleges for staff working on fresh counters and bakeries.
Sainsbury’s said the roll-out of the new scheme follows a review of its apprenticeship offer and a trial of the programme to ensure that Level 3 Apprenticeships are as “rewarding and robust” as possible.
Angie Risley, group HR director, explained: "Retail is one of the fastest growing employment sectors in the UK. At Sainsbury’s we are creating thousands of jobs for people who want fast-paced, rewarding and flexible work. But we also want to equip people with the skills and qualifications to develop their career with us.
"No amount of time spent in a classroom can teach our future team leaders and managers about what it takes to run a busy store serving thousands of customers a week. The Advanced Apprenticeship Level Three scheme will offer a mix of stretching vocational qualifications and hands on experience over the course of a year to help people on the road to a promising, rewarding career with us.”
Sainsbury’s said that managers in its larger supermarkets are now gearing up to offer apprenticeships by identifying existing staff who are interested and eligible for the scheme.
The retailer is offering 400 places in the first year, with the expectation that the majority of large Sainsbury’s supermarkets will recruit one apprentice per store. This will be reviewed and adapted in the second year and may be extended to allow applications from external candidates.
Although the apprentices can be any age, Sainsbury’s said they cannot hold any qualifications higher than GCSEs in order to give people without further education the opportunity to access job related qualifications. The apprentices will spend at least 30 hours a week working in store with an established individual learning programme.
Chris Jones, CEO and director general at City & Guilds, said: "At City & Guilds, we’re all about jobs. We help people into jobs so they can develop their skills and progress within their organisation. Apprenticeships are central to this - they provide people with the skills and experience they need to advance their careers, whilst enabling businesses to develop their workforce for future growth. That’s why we’re delighted to be working with Sainsbury’s on their new apprenticeship programme to find the managers of tomorrow."
Sainsbury’s is aiming to create 50,000 jobs by 2020 with half of all employees set to receive externally accredited training.
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