Marking National Apprenticeship Week early, the special occasion allowed apprentices from across the UK business to ask their burning questions and engage in an open conversation with the company’s CEO as a further development opportunity. The participating apprentices represented the current apprenticeship programmes offered at Unilever including within Business and Technology, Supply Chain and Engineering and Research and Development.
Paul Polman, Unilever Chief Executive Officer, said: “Giving a louder voice to our younger employees is important to their development and to our future success as a company. Apprentices can create a community of practice and we need more fresh insight from young people to question how we do things. We hire them because we know that they can help the company.”
Over the past two years the Unilever Apprenticeship Programme has increased its intake of apprentices by seventy per cent. Now there are over two hundred apprentices spread across most sites in the UK.
Tim Munden Vice President of Human Resources, Unilever UK said: “At Unilever, we are committed to identifying opportunities for young people to establish and develop their careers. Our Apprenticeship Programme is helping to turn this commitment into reality, and we have more than doubled the number of apprentices in Unilever. From a business perspective, the Programme has helped to create a network of talent as well as enhance the creativity of our work.”
Externally the company’s UK Apprenticeship Programme has been recognised as a leading example in providing young people with an opportunity to establish a career whilst gaining skills and qualifications for the future. Most recently, Unilever was named in the prestigious Top 100 Employer list at the National Apprenticeship Awards organised by the government’s National Apprenticeship Service.