The Co-op Group

An evolving long-term Apprenticeship partnership – our work with The Co-op Group

learndirect has partnered with the Co-op for more than five years and in this time we’ve helped more than 2,500 employees in gaining a recognised qualification. These qualifications have been delivered across the Co-op’s funeralcare, food, general insurance and head office functions, with learners in all four home nations.

We worked together along with the relevant Sector Skills Council and Awarding Bodies to create a completely new Apprenticeship Framework fit for its funeralcare division, which we began delivering in 2012. This qualification is mandatory to all new starters who complete their initial three month probation, the programme is now fully embedded across the business and has allowed for a consistent approach to training and development. We will shortly see our 1,500 funeralcare learner join the programme and more than a third have already completed

Lloyd Thomas, Apprenticeship Manager at the Co-op and chair of the Retail Trailblazer says:

“We work in partnership with learndirect, exchanging ideas and understanding so we continually evolve our Apprenticeship programmes across the Group. Our account manager is an extension of our team; he has a thorough understanding of our business and helps unlock a range of specialist skills with learndirect.”

“We’re also able to benefit from the broader connections learndirect has in the sector, and regularly contribute to discussions with key stakeholders and other learndirect employer partners. All of this helps us to challenge our thinking, enabling us to continually evolve our Apprenticeship delivery as part of the overall talent management strategy within the Group.”

We are now working together to ensure the Co-op maximises its Levy contribution in line with their social, ethical and talent strategies.

The Co-op is regularly rated as a ‘Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer’ and won the ‘National Apprenticeship Service North West Employer Newcomer of the Year’ in 2013. Further success followed when Lois McClure, an apprentice with its Membership team won the National Intermediate Apprentice of the Year award at the 2014 National Apprenticeship Service Awards.