395 words, approx. 2 minutes to read.

Now that we’re in results month for A-levels and GCSEs, young people across the country will be thinking about what’s next – whether they’ve got into their choice of university, whether to defer and have a year out or what Plan B is if their grades have fallen short.

For those who don’t want to go to university, or don’t know what to do, it’ll be a pretty daunting time too. My son gets his GCSE’s this week, and he’s already being asked what he wants to do when he leaves school, which is a huge decision, considering how long our working lives are.

One alternative to university that the Co-op can offer is apprenticeships, which offer training and a proper wage. All our apprenticeships are permanent roles that pay the going rate for the job, regardless of age – not a special apprentice rate that other employers might pay.

This year we’ll take on 1,000 apprentices, from Level 2 (equivalent to 5 GCSEs) up to Level 6 (equivalent to a master’s degree). There will be opportunities in our businesses and support centres so you can train to become a store manager, work in a funeral home, or work in areas like HR, Digital or IT.

All our apprenticeships offer the chance to build skills such as leadership, influencing and storytelling, and teach people about co-operation and the Co-operative Movement.

Top apprentice employer

We have a pretty good record too – over the past six years, we’ve trained over 3,500 apprentices, from school leavers to ‘career changers’ in their 60s. In 2016 we were named as a top apprenticeship employer, and earlier this month our Funeralcare apprentice programme was granted the Princess Royal Training Award  for outstanding training and skills development programmes.

To find out first-hand what it’s like at the Co-op as an apprentice, have a look at what Claire, Rachel, Ryan and Robert have to say about working here.

Find an apprenticeship at our Co-op

  • Our retail apprenticeships will be advertised from 4 September 2017 on our jobs site
  • If you have any questions you can contact our team on, apprenticeship.enquiry@coop.co.uk
  • We’ll also be exhibiting at the National Apprenticeship Show in Manchester Central on 16-17 October, which is a great opportunity to have a chat with colleagues about what’s on offer

To anyone waiting for results (and the parents holding their breaths in the background) – Good Luck!

Pippa Wicks
Group Deputy Chief Executive

Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. […] Apprenticeships at Co-op don’t have to be Plan B

  2. […] more about apprenticeships at our Co-op; Apprenticeships at Co-op don’t have to be Plan B Co-op Funeralcare leads the way with Apprenticeship […]

  3. […] across our business, and took on 7 students in our Co-op Insurance Customer Service team as apprentices. For me, this is the most exciting part of working with our Co-op Academies. They’re the […]

  4. Great Stuff. Apprenticeship`s worked really well some years ago when I was a young man and first on the jobs and career scene . They have been somewhat overlooked in recent years so it is great to see the Co-op taking up the initiative again . However it is important to remember with Apprenticeship`s it takes time and patience to get the very best from people and turn out a good working Apprentice !
    Well done.


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