Plans revealed to create 400 apprenticeships to train up managers at supermarket giant

Over the next 12 months, a total of 400 apprenticeships will be created to train the supermarket managers of the future.

Grocery giant Sainsbury's revealed the news after it was announced that companies will be able to work to tackle their own gaps in skilled staff by making their own tailor-made apprenticeship qualifications.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said training schemes should be created to meet the needs of firms to fill the UK's skills gaps and ensure that courses lead to actual jobs.

Sainsbury's said it had looked again at the apprenticeships it already offered before deciding to come up with the new scheme.

Angie Risley, HR director for the Sainsbury's Group, said that retail remains one of the UK's most rapidly expanding areas of employment.

She said the supermarket chain is already offering thousands of job opportunities to people across the country. But she added that Sainsbury's also wants to help people develop their skills, gain a qualification and advance their careers.

Ms Risley said people who are going to end up managing a busy store would learn far more on the job than sitting in a classroom studying the theory of running a supermarket.

She added that people taking Sainsbury's Advanced Apprenticeship Level Three schemes would spend a year getting real experience in stores - as well as working towards a qualification for themselves.

The Government has just created two apprenticeship ambassadors to promote the vocational qualifications and make sure there are a high number of good-quality courses available in the UK.

Skills minister Matthew Hancock welcomed the news that Sainsbury's is planning to expand its apprenticeships with 400 new places.

He said he wants the majority of people leaving school to either go to university or take an apprenticeship in the future.

The minister said that apprenticeships are an effective way of preparing young people for the workplace and making sure they have the right skills to be useful to employers.

Copyright Press Association 2013