Co-op is creating more than 300 Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) driver apprenticeships in response to the current driver crisis, stated recent reports.
The programme will run for 12-15 months across the UK, with drivers becoming fully operational after three months, reports said, adding that the new driver roles will be in two batches.
While one batch will be of 135 apprentices directly with the Co-op with the first intake in January, the other will be a further 207 driver apprenticeships recruited for third party hauliers at Co-op sites, as per the reports.
Apprentices will receive starting salaries of between £23,753 to £25,584, depending on location.
In the first three months, apprentices will carry out practical and theoretical learning to help to obtain their LGV Class 1 licence, paid for by the Co-op, and study a range of modules including driving regulations and customer service.
The Co-op is also working with contract logistics providers, GXO and Wincanton, to create over 200 opportunities throughout 2022 at sites where they work on Co-op’s behalf.
Co-op Food chief executive, Jo Whitfield, said: “The transport sector needs long-term sustainable change.
“Through our apprenticeship programme we’ll be able to help driver recruitment by attracting new talent and make the sector more appealing to younger people.
“These apprenticeships are part of our broader apprenticeship commitment at the Co-op to improve social mobility.
Minister for skills Alex Burghart said: “It’s great to see Co-op continuing to invest in apprenticeships with the creation of 300 LGV apprentice roles.
“Apprenticeships are a superb way to launch careers or upskill in a wide range of key industries, and crucially help to plug workforce shortages by providing people with high-quality training in the skills businesses need to thrive.”