Aldi is to fund 60 management apprenticeships in the fresh produce industry over two years to help nurture talent in the sector.
The move is in partnership with fresh produce management training scheme MDS, chaired by former GCA Christine Tacon.
MDS’s graduate schemes aim to create future fresh produce industry leaders and help tackle a shortage of recruits in the sector. Candidates gain experience in four different businesses as they work towards a leadership and management qualification accredited by the Chartered Management Institute.
Aldi has worked with MDS since 2016, and taken on five permanent employees from previous rounds of the training scheme. It plans to support two existing employees through the apprenticeship programme this year.
The 60 new places are to be paid for using part of Aldi’s Apprenticeship Levy. It will bring the supermarket’s funding for the scheme to close to £1m over six years.
The 60 will be split into four cohorts, with the first to start in April this year. Trainees will learn the ropes in a range of positions, including supply chain, marketing, technical and operations.
“Our combination of on-the-job learning, alongside a chartered qualification, equips trainees with invaluable management and leadership skills to help them begin fulfilling careers within the food and fresh produce industries, which are crying for out for ambitious, capable new recruits,” said Tacon.
“Aldi’s ongoing support is testament to the quality of graduates that the scheme produces, and we look forward to continuing to work with them.”
Aldi UK recruitment director Kelly Stokes said: “The MDS scheme is highly respected and provides an excellent pathway for promising talent to achieve their potential within the sector, which is why we are pleased to be funding a further 60 apprenticeships over the next two years.
“The success of the programme is evident, with a number of MDS graduates now employed at Aldi to help us continue to deliver high-quality fresh produce at unbeatable prices.”
Interested applicants should visit mds-ltd.co.uk.