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National Apprenticeships Week: Starbucks launches its first UK apprenticeship scheme

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At the start of National Apprenticeships Week, coffee chain Starbucks has unveiled plans to offer apprenticeships for the very first time to young people in England.

The company will offer up to 45 Apprenticeships, in barista skills and customer service, each month in 2012, beginning in London this spring.

The move will help hundreds of young people, with a passion for coffee and customer service, to secure paid employment and acquire new transferable skills. With a very real need to help the young into work these apprenticeships will have a positive impact on the individuals involved and the local communities that will benefit directly.

The apprenticeships are open for young people over 16 years of age including school leavers, and those that have already been working or are seeking to start a new career. They will be completed over a 12 month period and involve on the job and classroom training. If the apprentices wish to stay and build a career with Starbucks they will also have the opportunity to progress to higher level apprenticeships over time.

The move follows an announcement by Starbucks last November to open 300 new stores over the next five years, creating around 5,000 new jobs.

John Hayes, skills minister, said: "With this apprenticeship commitment, Starbucks is giving hundreds of young people both a job and valuable training. Thanks to record investment, combined with tough measures to drive up standards, the Government has created the biggest and best apprenticeships programme in our country's history.

"National Apprenticeships Week is the time to celebrate the countless achievements of learners and employers, and we need more firms like Starbucks to say "you're hired" to a new apprentice."

Kris Engskov, managing director of Starbucks UK & Ireland, said: "At a time of record youth unemployment, we're very pleased to be able to play our part in helping committed young people acquire new skills and paid employment when it's most needed. We have been steadily working towards providing this scheme for young people and believe it's a great way to attract new talent into our business at the same time as improving employee retention and supporting our future growth. This scheme will also create greater expertise within the coffee industry."