Discount food giant Aldi has announced it will be donating £1 million to small and medium-sized enterprises in the UK (SMEs) this year to fund the development of apprenticeship schemes in the UK.
The money will help to support the delivery of apprenticeships in areas such as hospitality, operations management, as well as early years education and health and social care. The retailer has contributed over £1.7 million in levy funding so far, it says.
A portion of the funding will be given to Management Development Services, which provides leadership training within the food production sector (MDS). The training provider Total People, and Lifetime, which provides Aldi’s apprenticeships, will also receive a sum of the funding.
Lisa Murphy, Learning & Development Director at Aldi UK, said in a statement: “Apprenticeships play a crucial part not only in our sector, but in helping people across the UK, at all levels, reach their full potential.
“Last year, we recruited over 150 of our own apprentices across our store, logistics and national buying teams, and enrolled over 50 existing colleagues onto apprenticeship programmes to help them gain industry-recognised qualifications and develop their skills through practical hands-on experience.
“We’re really excited to see how our £1m investment will be used by businesses in the communities we serve to help people gain employment and develop new skills.”
Aldi’s latest donation is part of a series of efforts it has made recently to support apprenticeships. Last month, the retailer also announced it would be recruiting over 500 new apprentices in 2023, which it says marked its largest ever intake. Opportunities will be available in stores, logistics, buying, and HGV driving.
According to the supermarket, a Store Apprentice can earn £220.20 per week in their first year of training, which can go up to £321.90 two years later. Training roles in logistics can earn from around £240 per week, while driving roles will receive £378.
Murphy explained the benefits of enrolling in Aldi apprenticeships in a release:“By taking part in the scheme and working at one of the country’s fastest-growing retailers, apprentices can learn all there is to know about the supermarket sector. Not only this, but the scheme provides them with new skills and nationally-recognised qualifications along the way, with help and support from some of the industry’s most talented people.”