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

Central England Co-op is helping its colleagues in Northamptonshire 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 completed 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 Northamptonshire colleagues Andy Eeley and Dene Nuttall, who have each taken part in the scheme working in very different roles across the business.

Dene completed his Level 3 Team Leader/Supervisory apprenticeship which has helped him make the step up in his career to become Store Manager at Main Road in Dunston.

He said: “I decided to take the opportunity of joining the apprenticeship programme as I love extra stretch in my role, especially as at the time I was working towards becoming a store manager.  I thought this would really increase my chances of achieving that goal with the additional skills that I would be learning along the way with the apprenticeship.

“The greatest thing I found about completing the apprenticeship was that I could complete all of my units while in a working environment.

“In a lot of cases I found the apprenticeship really helpful as you are more engaged with what you are trying to learn as you are in that working environment.  This meant I could showcase to my tutor certain things that I had done in store which actually contributed towards me passing my units.

“Completing the apprenticeship programme was a big reason why I got promoted to my first store manager role as this was seen as an important programme in which I was partaking in.”

Meanwhile Andy also completed his Level 3 Team Leader/Supervisory apprenticeship with a distinction which has helped him gain a promotion to become a Senior Funeral Director.

He said: “Since joining the Society in 2013 my primary focus had been to learn the funeral side of the business. Development, promotion and change of role led to the need for a better understanding of leadership, management, employment law and compliance.

“The apprenticeship was the perfect opportunity to gain a broad overview of the above and relate them into my current working practices.

“As a result I now have a better understanding of leadership and it has helped me to analyse myself and in doing so, bring the best out of my team. I also gained a promotion while studying for the course.”

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.”

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