The Co-operative receives 64,000 apprenticeship enquiries

06 February 2012

The Co-operative Group

During 2011 400 young people were recruited to The Co-operative’s Apprenticeship Academy

Peter Marks, Group Chief Executive of The Co-operative Group, said “As we are getting 80 enquiries for every position we have to offer it is clear there is a need for other businesses to step up to the plate.

“We believe businesses have a real responsibility to open doors for young people by giving them opportunities to gain new skills, knowledge and experience so that together we can build a strong and successful future for young people and our country.

“Through our Apprenticeship Academy, we are offering young people across the UK proper jobs with qualifications and real career opportunities. With a quarter of our employees under the age of 25, eventually we want to make them all apprentices and I would encourage other big businesses to follow suit.

“The professionalism and enthusiasm shown by all of the apprentices we have recruited so far shows just how much young people have to offer. There are so many young people looking for opportunities such as this and we have been overwhelmed by the hard work and commitment our new apprentices have already shown in their roles.

“Due to the success of our apprenticeship academy in the past six months, we are doubling the number of apprenticeships we offer to young people right across our business in 2012.”

The £9 million academy offers young people transferrable skills, competitive salaries and qualifications - not just a job. It is The Co-operative’s vision that eventually all new recruits under 25 will be part of the Academy.

The Co-operative Apprenticeship Academy forms a major part of the Group’s drive to inspire young people and support their future life goals and ambitions and is a key element of The Co-operative’s ethical plan.


Additional Information: 

The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned not by private shareholders but by over six million consumers.  It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, the leading convenience store operator and a major financial services provider, operating The Co-operative Bank, Britannia and The Co-operative Insurance. Among its other businesses are the number one funeral services provider and Britain’s largest farming operation. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group has also set out its social and sustainability goals in its groundbreaking Ethical Plan, which specifies almost 50 commitments in these areas.

The Group operates 4,800 retail trading outlets, employs more than 106,000 people and has an annual turnover of more than £13bn.  Further information is available at