Discount retailer Aldi has announced that it will work in partnership with The Black Country Skills Shop led by Stourbridge College to promote the recently launched Aldi Apprentice Scheme.
With the increasing cost of university tuition fees and youth unemployment levels continuing to rise, Aldi announced in February plans to launch a national apprentice scheme, creating more than 200 jobs nationwide.
The scheme will target school leavers in the UK wishing to pursue a career in retail management without undertaking a university degree, and has been set up in partnership with Skillsmart Retail and the National Skills Academy for Retail.
Apprentices will be trained in all aspects of Retail Management within three years. The programme offers store assistant training in year one and store management training in years two and three with a salary of £5 rising to £7.15 per hour and a title of ‘Deputy Manager’ awarded on completion.
The new scheme demonstrates Aldi’s ongoing commitment to providing career opportunities for young people in the UK. The company already runs an award-winning Area Management Programme for graduates and a sandwich-year Retail Placement Scheme.
By the end of the scheme, the most successful apprentices will have the opportunity to progress to the position of Assistant Store Manager with a starting salary of £25,000. By joining the Aldi Apprentice Scheme, young people could ultimately be fast tracked to a Store Manager position at one of the fastest growing companies in the UK today.
Matthew Speight, the project lead for the Aldi Apprentice Scheme said: “We believe this is a great scheme for those looking for a genuine career path in retail management, and our partnership with The Black Country Skills Shop is critical for selecting suitable candidates.
“Our apprentices will be given real responsibility from day one and will have the chance to learn about the business from a grassroots level. We are grateful for the support of The Black Country Skills Shop and our other partners for helping to get this programme under way.”
Tina Dalzell, Manager at Stourbridge College’s Black Country Skills Shop, commented: “At Stourbridge College we train over 500 apprentices every year and work with over 1,000 employers locally. Once we had started discussions with Aldi we immediately recognised the benefits of a partnership considering our experience in promoting and developing apprenticeships for school leavers. The Black Country Skills Shop’s aim is to promote retail in the area as a career and we’ll provide the first stages of recruitment for Aldi, finding the right candidates, putting them through a series of tests and tasks before they go on to a final assessment and interview. It’s a great opportunity for us to find the right people for the jobs and for young people in the region to get into a career in retail management.”
For more information on the Aldi Apprentice Scheme please contact:
Nicholas Bevan on 01625 822 649 / Nick.Bevan@mccann.com
Catherine Dickinson on 01625 822 550 / Catherine.Dickinson@mccann.com
Notes to editors:
- All applications will be submitted via www.apprenticeships.org.uk and through a number of regional colleges including Stourbridge College and Business Skills.
- The scheme targets school leavers wishing to apply for a career in retail management
- Apprentices will spend time in their first year completing Store Assistant training and working towards their Apprenticeship Level 2 qualification. They will then go on to do Store Management training in years two and three and complete their Advanced Apprenticeship Level 3 qualifications
- Apprentices will work a 25 hour week over five days and will be paid an hourly rate of £5 in year one, £6.08 in year two and £7.15 in year three
- All Apprentices will be offered a Deputy Manager position at the end of the three years subject to performance in the last year of the scheme
- UCAS statistics show that university applications were down by more than six percent in 2011 compared to 2010 at the same time as youth unemployment was at its highest since 1992. This indicates that now more than ever is the time to launch a scheme that aims to reach 200 young people hoping to get on to a career path in the challenging retail sector.