The Co-op is to create more than 300 LGV driver apprenticeships, offering the opportunity for candidates to obtain their Class 1 licence.
The programme starts in 2022 and will run for 12-15 months in various locations nationwide.
Within three months, apprentices will become fully operational drivers, and receive a pay increase from the starting salary of between £23,753.60 to £25,584.00, depending on location.
During this period apprentices will carry out practical and theoretical learning to help to obtain their LGV Class 1 licence, paid for by the Co-op, and study a range of modules including driving regulations and delivering great customer service. Recruitment for the roles has already started and will continue throughout 2022. Anyone with a full UK/EU Car Driving Licence can apply and no professional driving experience is required.
This scheme has been launched in response to the ongoing driver shortage that is causing supply issues across the food and retail industry.
The Co-op is also working with contract logistics providers, GXO and Wincanton, to create over 200 opportunities throughout 2022 at sites where they work on Co-op’s behalf.
Co-op Food CEO Jo Whitfield said: “The transport sector needs long-term sustainable change. Through our apprenticeship programme we’ll be able to help driver recruitment by attracting new talent and make the sector more appealing to younger people. These apprenticeships are part of our broader apprenticeship commitment at the Co-op to improve social mobility.
“I’m pleased to see the Co-op leading the way and the last few months have only stressed the importance of drivers who are not only providing a service that is so vital for our business but for society as a whole.”
Minister for Skills Alex Burghart added: “It’s great to see Co-op continuing to invest in apprenticeships with the creation of 300 LGV apprentice roles. Apprenticeships are a superb way to launch careers or upskill in a wide range of key industries, and crucially help to plug workforce shortages by providing people with high-quality training in the skills businesses need to thrive.”