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Greene King to recruit more than 2,000 apprentices

Pub retailer and brewer Greene King has vowed to recruit more than 2,000 apprentices over the next 12 months as it expands the qualifications on offer.

The company’s Apprenticeship scheme now includes qualifications for advanced management and enhanced kitchen skills.

The expansion comes after it reported overall boosts to both motivation and productivity since first taking on apprentices. In the year to April 2013, team turnover fell 8%, employee engagement rose 4% and labour productivity climbed more than 2% in participating venues.

Greene King HR manager John Smith said: “We made the decision to recruit 2,000 new apprentices this year following the success of our existing apprenticeship scheme, which has been running since 2011. As our business grows, we are proud to offer the apprentices that join Greene King the opportunity move straight onto a career path to allow them to fulfil their true potential”.

To date more than 3,500 employees have joined the company’s Apprenticeship scheme, developed in partnership with Charnwood Training Group.

The move comes as the FE sector celebrates Apprenticeship Week, which runs from 3–7 March 2014.

As part of the event, the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) released research that showed apprentices delivered around £1.8bn of net economic benefits to UK organisations last year.

Businesses get an average £2,000 bottom-line boost every time they take on an apprentice, once wage and training costs have been factored in, according to the research report The Value of Apprentices.

AAT chief executive Jane Paul said: “Take-up of Apprenticeship schemes has grown sharply over the past five years, as more and more organisations enjoy the benefits that apprentices can bring to the workplace; this is benefitting their business and bolstering economic recovery and growth.

“We now need to do more to engage with smaller businesses – to break down the misconceptions and make it easier for smaller enterprises to unlock the full potential of training apprentices on the job and to gain specific skills relevant to their business.

“Our research clearly reveals that apprentices far from being a cost to business are often a tangible benefit and, what’s more, they’re flourishing in non-traditional sectors such as business, administration and law. By quantifying the value of Apprenticeships in this way we hope to encourage all sectors of business to open up their recruitment policies and address the skill shortage.”

Natalie Thornhill

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