Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie visited ASDA’s Milton of Craigie superstore today [Friday 1st June] to meet young people on work experience, apprentices and other staff on the company’s career development programme.
Store manager Martin Green was hosting the MP’s visit with David Paterson, ASDA’s Head of Regional Affairs in attendance.
In 2011 the Asda Skills Academy was launched, which allows colleagues to develop new skills in a specially tailored training programme and earn a recognised qualification. The company has since accelerated its apprenticeship programme with around 600 colleagues on the scheme in Scotland.
It is now working closely with Skills Development Scotland and currently has over 800 expressions of interest for the next intake.
The Flying the Flag programme is the name for a collection of different programmes for young people – work experience, training, apprenticeships, getting unemployed young people into work and the graduate scheme. Their training partner is City & Guilds and every new start to the business undertakes 12 weeks of accredited training.
The apprenticeships are work based and colleagues are given time during working hours to complete their studies. They offer Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications. This year they are also launching a Retail Honours Degree, giving eligible colleagues the opportunity to achieve a degree, debt-free, while working in a store or depot.
Commenting after his visit, Stewart Hosie said: “It was a pleasure to meet the young people on the training programme in Dundee. It is clear that Asda takes seriously their responsibility to engage with young people and enthuse them about retail as a career path.
“I enjoyed taking part in a colleague listening group to hear first-hand about how these young people are gaining skills and furthering their careers with Asda.
“It is vital that employers provide supportive and accessible training and work experience to involve young people in employment.
“One of the most interesting things I learned today was the variety of career paths within the group and that apprenticeships are now generally taken up by a slighter older age range. It is clear that for many working at ASDA is a career choice whether they are joining on the back of school work experience, post-graduate or in their early 20s and looking for a career in retail.”
ASDA’s Head of Regional Affairs, David Paterson, added: “Asda store managers and colleagues are also going into schools to engage young people in the opportunities that retail can provide and show them how they can get ready for the world of work.
“As part of our Community Life initiative, every ASDA store is partnering with a school in their area to offer up to two weeks of work experience for 14-16 year olds. The programme is accredited by City & Guilds and provides vocational training credits.
“The Flying the Flag programme is now working closely with Skills Development Scotland and currently has over 800 expressions of interest for the next intake.”