Superdrug, alongside its sister company Savers, has upped their apprenticeship target to 500 for 2024 alone, having previously pledged to take on 500 over three years.
The two health and beauty retailers had already recruited 80% of its three-year target in 2023, and therefore has been able to increase the target number of new recruits to 500 for this year.
With over 120,000 retail jobs being lost in 2023, Superdrug hopes to encourage more people to seek a job in retail and give them reassurance that the retail industry is growing. The brand recruited 8,000 people last year and has a further 7,000 retail roles to fill this year.
Superdrug and Savers offer one of the largest Apprenticeship Schemes in UK retail – the multi-tier scheme aims to help people to kick-start, accelerate and elevate their careers. Since its launch in 2007, over 4,500 people have achieved qualification and 30% of graduates have chosen to stay within the business.
Apprenticeship roles available are made up of Level 2, 3 & 4 programmes supporting young people to get work in a key industry, boosting the retail economy and allowing them to upskill themselves and gain valuable life skills.
Superdrug’s people director, Amy Davies, said: “Our apprenticeship scheme is incredibly important to us as a business and we are so pleased that last year was so successful. We are so passionate about offering the UK’s young people opportunities and the scheme is critical for developing talent for the future. Our aim is not only to give young people the best entry into retail that we can, but also to help them grow and develop in their roles, so they choose to progress their careers within our businesses.”
For National Apprenticeship Week [05-11 February], Superdrug also aims to highlight the importance of gaining ‘skills for life’, an area the brand has been supporting their recruits with for the last two years with their industry leading bespoke Life Skills programme.
The scheme, designed and created by the Superdrug Team, supports apprentices with general life skills such as writing a CV or helping them understand their finances and has been invaluable to those that have already taken on the course. The Life Skills programme also received an ‘outstanding’ rating as part of last years OFSTED inspection, recognising the teams efforts in apprenticeship support.
Davies added: “We are constantly evolving and improving our apprenticeship scheme to attract the brightest and best young talent. The theme of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week, ‘Skills for Life,’ we feel is very appropriate, as we’ve worked hard to be able to offer not just apprenticeships but also provide our apprentices with any extra support that they require in order to get a step up in life. Whether they need help in passing their English or Maths GCSE or need help with general life skills such as CV writing or Financial Wellbeing.
“18% of our apprentices come from low economic and social backgrounds, and after Covid we saw that the lost generation really suffered in terms of their social and day to day skills. We spent time ensuring that new apprentices joining our scheme felt supported across all areas and our teams helped them with everyday life skills to enable them to be able to get the most out of their apprenticeship.”
Last year, Superdrug also reinforced the British Retail Consortium calls for change to the Apprenticeship Levy, which asks for more flexibility in the scheme to ensure that valuable funds can be used in more ways to support those in Apprenticeships and not wasted.
A recent survey by the BRC found that retailers could have offered 12,000 more apprenticeships over the past year if it wasn’t for the inflexible levy scheme. The industry took on approximately 17,000 apprenticeships last year, meaning that a reform of the levy could boost numbers by 70%.
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