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John Lewis launches its first ever apprenticeship programme

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Apprenticeships are a way that the UK can get talent back on tap, says head of partner development at John Lewis.

Employers must appreciate just what value there is in young people, and apprenticeships are a way that the UK can get talent back on tap after a shortage, says Jane Beine, head of partner development at John Lewis.

John Lewis announced this week that they are taking on 80 apprentices in their first apprenticeship programme. Beine believes apprenticeships can create a long-term sustainable route for young people into employment.

Beine told HR magazine: "Apprenticeships can provide businesses with a perfect pipeline of loyal talent with long-term benefits for the company."

Laura Whyte, personnel director, John Lewis said: "This apprenticeship programme has long been an aspiration for us.

"We see apprenticeships as a route to give young people a genuine alternative to further education."

This week saw firms including Rolls-Royce, BT and Kwik-Fit recognised as leading apprentice employers.

The Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list was announced at The Skills Show in Birmingham this week, with both large and small organisations honoured.

Compiled by the National Apprenticeship Service in partnership with City & Guilds, the list recognises excellence in businesses that employ apprentices.

David Way, chief executive of the National Apprenticeship Service, said: "The breadth and depth of employers on our Top 100 list just goes to show the huge impact apprenticeships have on companies of all sizes and the wider UK economy.

"Apprenticeships are the country's gold standard for vocational training. As part of the new era for apprenticeships we are introducing measures to ensure there has never been a better time for employers to hire apprentices."

"With more higher level apprenticeships (up to degree level), rigorous new standards for all apprenticeships and new financial incentives for small firms who hire their first apprentices, employers can be confident that apprenticeships will deliver for them."