With National Apprenticeship Week upon us, Aldi—the UK’s 5th largest supermarket—is looking to recruit further apprentices in 2021, as it continues to embark on an ambitious growth period with its mission to operate 1,200 stores by 2025
Aldi celebrates the best talent in the UK across its apprenticeship programmes, creating new employment opportunities every year. It works with schools across the country to support local communities and help young people enter the workforce, as well as providing equal opportunities for all.
Since launching its apprentice programmes in 2012, Aldi has hired more than 2,000 apprentices, the majority of which have been successful in securing permanent roles.
Aldi offers several apprenticeships across its head office, stores and regional distribution centres (RDCs), however, the three core apprenticeship programmes focus on training colleagues for successful careers within stores, logistics and driving.
Freddie Wakelin joined Aldi as a store apprentice at 16 and is now a 25-year-old store manager running his own store and team.
Commenting on how the stores apprenticeship set him up for a successful career in retail management, he says: “When I left school, I looked at a number of options to best achieve my goals and carve out a future for myself. I had always wanted to be a manager of sorts and believed that my strong people skills would be a good starting point for a career in retail management.”
Once I started exploring this area, Aldi was the obvious choice as it was ahead of the curve in terms of offering a competitive salary, opportunities to learn on the job and progress within the business.”
Store apprentices will receive a salary of £190 per week in year one, rising to £283 per week in year three, and can now enter the programme via two routes:
- When joining the career starter track, candidates are not required to have completed previous qualifications. The aim of this 12-15 month programme is to allow apprentices to work towards a career, whilst developing skills in literacy and numeracy and completing a level 2 retailer qualification.
- The store management track requires a minimum grade 4 or equivalent in maths and English and offers candidates the possibility to progress in the business where there are suitable opportunities. Apprentices who begin this programme will complete a level 2 retailer qualification in the first year of training, and then progress to a level 3 retail team leader qualification in years two and three.
Logistics apprentice Lee Dryden is at the start of his career but already, while learning the logistics ropes at the Darlington Aldi RDC, he has completed his level 2 supply chain operative qualification, and his desire to continue learning has led him to his next challenge of completing his business management degree with The Open University—something that his managers fully support.
Commenting on his next steps, Lee says: “While completing my apprenticeship qualifications and starting a degree at the same time will keep me busy, the course material for both go hand in hand. Therefore, I’m sure I will complete both with a deeper understanding of the business environment and look forward to bringing this knowledge back to my future role at Aldi.”
“I have learnt so much on the Aldi apprenticeship programme and been given real responsibilities whilst being exposed to so many different business areas—which I didn’t expect.”
“While I’m only at the start of my career, I know there are so many opportunities ahead of me at Aldi and have clear goals set which I know I can achieve with the support of my team”such as becoming a manager in the future.”
The logistics apprenticeship programme involves one year of intense on the job training. During this time, candidates are exposed to all elements of the Aldi supply chain and work towards a level 2 supply chain operative qualification. Logistics apprentices receive a competitive salary of £190 per week, along with the opportunity for a permanent role at Aldi upon graduation.
Driving apprentice Dina Panko joined the driver apprenticeship programme through Aldi’s ‘Warehouse to Wheels’ initiative, allowing her to retrain in another area of the business after seven years working as a warehouse selector.
She says: “I learnt about the driver apprenticeship programme through internal advertising and was immediately interested as it was an opportunity to learn new skills and develop and progress my career. I had unwavering support from my section leader to apply for the new role and believe this has opened up a range of new career opportunities for me.”
The drivers apprenticeship programme starts with the technical side of the job, giving apprentices all the confidence and skills to be excellent drivers, with two mentors to guide them through the journey. On completion of the one-year programme, apprentices will have gained a category C+E licence and a level 2 LGV standard qualification. Colleagues on the driving apprenticeship programme will receive £316 per week, and are required to be over the age of 18 with a clean and full UK driving licence they have held for a minimum of two years.
All Aldi apprentices will receive full training and gain real qualifications while launching their careers and working towards realistic progression opportunities.
Aldi also offers a variety of training and development opportunities for existing colleagues to further develop their knowledge and skills in their roles. It is currently funding more than 200 internal apprenticeship training schemes, including CIPD, CIMA and team leader qualifications.
Aldi recruitment director Kelly Stokes concludes: “Aldi’s apprentice programmes are a fantastic way to identify and support new diverse talent and ensure we employ the best people to help us achieve our ambitious growth plan and lead us into the future.”
“Aldi apprentices are trained and mentored by some of the most experienced people in the retail sector, so all new colleagues receive the best training possible. We are now looking for the next generation of hard-working and ambitious candidates to join Team Aldi.”
Applications are open year-round. Please visit the Aldi Recruitment website for further information on the apprentice roles available and to apply: www.aldirecruitment.co.uk/apprentice