Skills and opportunities

Reducing inequalities by supporting individuals to gain skills and unlock opportunities.


Co-op has always been committed to education and training. In fact, it's central to who we are as a business founded on ideas of fairness, equality and personal responsibility. In recent years part of how we’ve expressed that commitment is through the growth of our apprenticeship programme. Currently, we offer 1,200 apprenticeship positions across our business from our support centre in Manchester through to the frontline in high streets up and down the UK in both our Food and Funeralcare businesses.

Giving people the opportunity to make their mark through an apprenticeship can drive social mobility and help tackle the persistent inequalities in our society. This is fundamental to our Vision of Co-operating for a fairer world. We want to make sure that everyone has an equal chance to fulfil their potential and that’s why we champion apprenticeships.

In 2020 the Co-op commissioned the Institute for Employment Research at the University of Warwick to look at how current Government policy impacts on the delivery of apprenticeships within our two main sectors and the research team interviewed a range of employers and stakeholders. The Co-op will use this research, Future-proofing apprenticeships, to feed into the debate about how national policy on apprenticeships should evolve.


  • PDF Future Proofing apprenticeships - Report (PDF, 40 pages, 655 KB)
  • PDF Future Proofing apprenticeships - Executive Summary (PDF, 4 pages, 103 KB)