Aldi, one of the UK’s fastest-growing supermarkets, says it will support 30 young people to undertake a fresh food produce apprenticeship this year.

The project will work In partnership with Management Development Services Ltd (MDS), a fresh produce graduate apprenticeship scheme and training provider. Aldi has worked with MDS since 2016.

The retailer confirms it is investing funds from its Apprenticeship Levy into new cohorts of students, the next group starting in April 2019.

The trainees will develop management and leadership skills whilst learning the ropes in four different roles across the industry including supply chain, marketing, technical or operations.

Aldi has already employed a permanent produce buying assistant from a previous MDS intake, and will take on another this year from amongst those currently completing the scheme, whose training is now accredited by the Chartered Management Institute.

Julie Ashfield, managing director of buying at Aldi UK, said: “Collaboration is the best way to grow and share our skills as an industry, and our work with MDS so far is testament to this.

“The strength and breadth of our fresh produce team ensures we’re able to deliver high quality, fresh food to our customers every day. We’re looking forward to helping the new apprentices find rewarding careers within the retail industry.”

Christine Tacon, MDS chair said: “We have worked hard to create a much-needed apprenticeship scheme for the fresh produce industry. Aldi committing its levy to sponsoring 30 more apprentices this year is an outstanding endorsement of the programme.

“The scheme gives the apprentices broad and challenging experiences, and empowering them at this stage in their careers with management and leadership skills will positively impact not only the businesses involved but the wider fresh produce industry.

“We greatly value the ongoing support and interest Aldi takes in the apprentices throughout their training.”