Co-op’s 1500th apprentice, 68 year-old Detective Sergeant, Robert Brown

The UK’s leading funeral director saw an intake of over 30 new apprentices every month in 2017, resulting in more than 400 apprentices joining every year, since launching the programme in 2013. Furthermore, the funeral provider is on track to continue to recruit the same number of apprentices again this year.

The apprenticeship has attracted a diverse range of applicants over the past five years, drawing in people of all ages and from all walks of life. From classical musicians to plumbers and police men, Funeralcare is often the chosen career for those wanting a new and rewarding challenge. Co-op Funeralcare has even seen a husband and wife join as apprentices.

In 2016, Co-op Funeralcare celebrated its 1500th apprentice and in 2017 hit the 2000th landmark. Co-op’s 1500th apprentice was 68 year-old Detective Sergeant, Robert Brown. Robert from Canterbury took up the role after a 30 year career in the police force, his most recent role being Detective Sergeant.

Commenting on his role Robert said:

“I can honestly say there is no other job I’d rather be doing. After a 30 year stint with the police, I did wonder how I would find working in funerals, but I love it. I only wish I’d done it sooner.”

Supporting this transition, the programme is designed to provide those embarking on a career in funerals with high quality, industry focussed and nationally recognised qualifications.

Karen Seth, Director of HR – Funeral & Life Planning at Co-op added:

“Working within the funeral industry is an extremely rewarding and satisfying career. Five years since launch, we’re still attracting such a strong pool of applicants and we’re confident we’ll continue to do so.

“Our intention has always been to provide people from all walks of life with the opportunity to develop a worthwhile career in funerals. Providing they possess compassion, empathy, excellent service and organisational skills, we can teach everything else on the job.”

Co-op Funeralcare delivers the apprenticeship in partnership with Learndirect and remains the only UK national Funeral Director to offer an apprenticeship in Funeral Operations and Services, following its launch in 2013 incorporating a QCF Level 2 and a QCF Level 3 in Funeral Operations and Services (formerly known as NVQ).

Emma, 36 from Cornwall, Funeral Director. After 7 years working with the most dangerous and prolific young offenders in Plymouth as part of the Youth Offending Team, Emma went on to work for a local charity, developing a bereavement group. This sparked Emma’s ambitions to support her community and led her to Co-op Funeralcare’s apprenticeship programme. She started as a Funeral Services Operative and is now doing her Level 3 apprenticeship as a Funeral Director. 

Advertisement

Commenting on her role Emma said:

‘’Having worked with young people for the past 14 years, I came to realise that what I really enjoyed about my role was meeting people from different backgrounds and being able to guide them through difficult times. My career in funeralcare is extremely rewarding, the best part about it is knowing I’m making a difference to people’s lives at what can be an incredibly hard time.’’

Husband and wife apprentices Seeing Emma’s move into funeralcare, her husband Matthew followed suit as an apprentice and is now a Funeral Director for Co-op in Plymouth. He previously worked in the armed forces as a navy diver and bomb disposer.

Kylie, age 28, ex-cabin attendant turned Funeral Arranger from Southampton. After spending 8 years working on a ferry going from Southampton to the Isle of Wight, Kylie decided life on the sea was no longer for her.

A bereavement in 2014 opened Kylie’s eyes to the important role of Funeral Directors which led to her applying for Co-op’s Funeralcare apprenticeship programme.

About The Co-op: The Co-op, one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, with interests across food, funerals, insurance, electrical and legal services, has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities. Owned by millions of UK consumers, The Co-op operates a total of 3,750 outlets, with more than 70,000 colleagues and an annual turnover of approximately £10 billion.

Home to the UK’s leading funeral provider, Co-op Funeralcare conducts almost 100,000 funerals annually across over 1,000 funeral homes. Combined with its leading legal services business, the Co-op is also a national provider of later life products and services ranging from funeral plans, through to wills and probate.

The only national funeral provider to offer a funeral apprenticeship, Co-op Funeralcare recruited over 30 apprentices every month in 2017 and are on track to welcome 400 new apprentices in 2018.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page