The supermarket chain has announced plans to create 135 large goods vehicle (LGV) driver apprenticeships on a 12 to 15-month programme in 2022.

As of January 2022, the company is offering “a competitive starting salary and a permanent contract” as part of an apprenticeship scheme that involves working towards a Class 1 vehicle licence. The programme is set to run in various locations nationwide and, according to Co-op, will be available to both internal and external candidates.

The company estimated that, within three months, apprentices will become fully operational drivers and receive a pay increase from the starting salary of between £23,753.60 to £25,584.00, depending on location.

Recruitment for the roles has already begun and is set to continue into 2022. The company is looking for candidates with a full UK/EU Car Driving Licence, but no professional driving experience is required.

Co-op has also announced that a further 207 apprenticeships will be recruited for third party haulier services at Co-op sites. The company said that it was currently working with contract logistics providers, GXO and Wincanton, to create over 200 opportunities throughout 2022 at sites where they work on Co-op’s behalf.

“Attracting new talent”

Co-op Food CEO, Jo Whitfield, said: “The transport sector needs long-term sustainable change. Through our apprenticeship programme we’ll be able to help driver recruitment by attracting new talent and make the sector more appealing to younger people. These apprenticeships are part of our broader apprenticeship commitment at the Co-op to improve social mobility.”