Following its launch back in 2012, Co-op Funeralcare’s apprenticeship programme has grown from strength to strength. Starting with 10 original apprentices back in 2012, more than 1,800 people have now been welcomed through our doors.

The programme is unique in that there isn’t an age limit and all of our operational colleagues join us as apprentices and progress through their Level 2 qualification. There’s also an option to complete a Level 3 qualification.

It was fantastic to be awarded with a Highly Commended award at the North West Regional Finals for the National Apprenticeship Awards. This is testament to the hard work put in by Funeralcare colleagues on our apprentice programme over the last few years. The benefit to our business of having an accredited team means we are setting the professional standard for the Funeralcare industry.

We’ve been talking to some of our original apprentices from 2012 to see where they are now.

Craig Johnson-Slack is the acting Care Centre Manager for the Mansfield Care Centre, looking after 13 funeral homes and the 52 colleagues that work there. He began his career training as a staff nurse before going to work in Co-op Food.

“In less than four years I’ve progressed from being an apprentice Funeral Director to a Principal Funeral Director and now acting Care Centre Manager. Working with the parents of children who have passed away is the most difficult part of my job, but being able to support the family and look after their loved one is a privilege and an honour.

“My proudest moments are seeing colleagues I have trained prosper in their roles. One real stand out moment for me though was when I arranged and conducted one of the largest funerals in Nottinghamshire that any crematorium has seen, with more than 1,000 mourners in attendance”.

In three words, Craig describes his career as fulfilling, emotive and life-changing.

Are you, or is someone you know, interested in learning more about Co-op Funeralcare’s Apprentice programme?

Ros Milligan,
Strategic Learning & Development Business Partner for Funeralcare

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Colleagues, Funeralcare