Aldi has announced that it will fund an additional 60 produce industry apprenticeships over the next two years.
The UK’s fifth-largest supermarket by market share said the apprenticeships will once again be in partnership with Management Development Services (MDS), a firm it has worked with since 2016.
Aldi said it was investing part of its Apprenticeship Levy into four new cohorts of students over the next two years, bringing its total funding to close to £1 million over six years.
The first set of cohorts will start in April.
MDS provides industry training, including a graduate apprenticeship scheme and helps nurture future talent by equipping trainees with experience in four different businesses as they work towards earning a leadership and management qualification accredited by the Chartered Management Institute.
The trainees will develop management and leadership skills while learning the ropes in a range of positions, including supply chain, marketing, technical and operations.
Aldi has already taken on five permanent employees from previous MDS intakes, and plans to support two existing colleagues through the apprenticeship programme in 2021.
“The MDS scheme is highly respected and provides an excellent pathway for promising talent to achieve their potential within the sector, which is why we are pleased to be funding a further sixty apprenticeships over the next two years,” Aldi UK recruitment director Kelly Stokes said.
“The success of the programme is evident, with a number of MDS graduates now employed at Aldi to help us continue to deliver high-quality fresh produce at unbeatable prices.”
MDS chair Christine Tacon said: “Our combination of on-the-job learning, alongside a chartered qualification, equips trainees with invaluable management and leadership skills to help them begin fulfilling careers within the food and fresh produce industries, which are crying for out for ambitious, capable new recruits.
“Aldi’s ongoing support is testament to the quality of graduates that the scheme produces, and we look forward to continuing to work with them.”
The news comes after Aldi last month announced it would recruit more than 200 apprentices this year as it continues to embark on “an ambitious growth period” with its goal to operate 1200 stores by 2025.
It is currently funding more than 200 internal apprenticeship training schemes, including CIPD, CIMA and Team Leader qualifications.
The three core apprenticeship programmes focus on training colleagues for careers within stores, logistics and driving.