Central England Co-op apprenticeship scheme helping dozens of colleagues in Leicestershire to achieve their career goals

Central England Co-op is helping its colleagues in Leicestershire climb the ladder with a growing apprenticeship programme helping sign makers to store managers take the next step in their careers.

To mark National Apprenticeship Week (February 3 – 9), the Society is shining a light on some of the 78 colleagues who have embarked on an apprenticeship over the past two years and are highlighting the opportunities available to build a career across the business from food retail to funeral homes.

Among those to have taken the leap and seen the benefits an apprenticeship can bring are colleagues at Central England Co-op’s Leicester Food Distribution Centre Jonathon Burrows and Adrian Andrews who each completed the scheme last year.

Jonathon completed his Level 3 Team Leader/Supervisory apprenticeship with a distinction and he says it has put him on the path to achieving his career goals.

He said: “I decided to complete an apprenticeship because I felt when this opportunity came around it would be beneficial to develop myself within the company and it also taught the skills to further improve in my role.

“I enjoyed having the responsibility to implement ideas into my warehouse, which I developed from doing the apprenticeship such as creating a project and bringing that project to life with budgeting and time management.

“The fact that you can do the apprenticeship during work hours is a massive plus and it didn’t affect my personal life. You become more interactive within the management team and you learn more than you think.”

Adrian also achieved a distinction in the Level 3 Team Leader/Supervisory apprenticeship and said he decided to complete the programme as he is a firm believer in bettering yourself.

He said: “I believe when you better yourself more opportunities will open up for you, your prospects widen and you can achieve more. I did the apprenticeship to help in my quest to progress.

“With an apprenticeship you’re learning at work and you have good support, knowledge and experience around you. I feel I now have more knowledge about business, its running and its legal responsibilities.”

Central England Co-op offer apprenticeships in retail, retail distribution, funeral services and operations, floristry, web design and a range of support centre roles.

Helen Stone, Attraction & Recruitment Manager at Central England Co-op, said: “We have been delighted with the success of our apprenticeship programmes over the last couple of years which has seen an amazing 78 colleagues across the Society complete an apprenticeship and we have a further 52 learners currently on the programme.

“Our apprenticeships programmes are carried out in the workplace, so you’ll be learning ‘on the job’ and gaining hands-on experience with the one-to-one support of your line manager and colleagues, the Learning and Development team and an external assessor.

“What’s more, you’ll earn the full rate of pay for the role you’re training towards – so whether you’re a school leaver taking your first steps into the world of work, or you’re re-training towards a new career path, you’ll be rewarded from day one.”

Meanwhile, Central England Co-op is also funding two apprenticeships at charity FareShare East Midlands’ Leicester hub, as part of its partnership which sees unsold food from the retailer’s stores redistributed to support local good causes.

People can find out more about apprenticeships at Central England Co-op at https://www.cecjobs.coop/Appreticeships


Notes to editors

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK. 

It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, travel shops, and property investment.

Central England Co-operative has over 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including; West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.  The Society has an ambitious food store development programme for 2020.

Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.  It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence.  The Society supports several charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.

Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to members activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing members@centralengland.coop or visiting https://www.members.coop

For more information visit www.centralengland.coop, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook: facebook.com/centralenglandcooperative

Rob Smyth and James Brindle at Central England Co-operative on 01543 421390

Email –publicrelations@centralengland.coop