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Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer

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We’re really proud to announce that has been named in the UK’s top 100 apprenticeship employers. The list is long and illustrious, so you can imagine how pleased we are to be on it. Compiled by the National Apprenticeship Service, it recognises the outstanding contribution we’ve made to our apprenticeship scheme over the last 12 months.

At AO, we like to think of ourselves as visionary, and people are the heart of our business. So, as well as thinking about where we’ll be in the future, we also like to think about who’ll be right there with us. And when we say think, we really mean obsess.

The decision to choose an apprenticeship can be a difficult one for school and college leavers, which is fair enough, there’s a lot to consider. There can be pressure to choose University, or a feeling of not quite being ready for the big wide world of work. For us, it’s simple. Up and coming generations are our next leaders, so it’s only right that we invest in their development now.

In April 2014 we took on our first seven apprentices. Now we have more than twenty throughout the UK and Germany, working in departments such as IT, Design, Digital, PR, Facilities and eCommerce. This year, we’re going to build on this foundation with a number of other apprenticeship positions currently in the pipeline.

Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service, said “The Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer list 2015 demonstrates clearly the impact apprentices can have on an organisation. These Top 100 apprenticeship employers have made a difference to the lives of young people by investing in their future whilst apprentices themselves help employers to develop a skilled, qualified workforce that builds a stronger economy. Apprentice employers are creating opportunities for young people to gain the skills and knowledge they need to succeed, in some cases up to degree level, while working and earning.”

At the awards ceremony we were recognised for our wide and varied range of opportunities and further training, which includes brand training, product knowledge and additional IT courses. And because we’re a go all out kind of business, we also encourage our apprentices to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Scheme. We’re keen to fund this programme because we know how important it is for young adults to understand and appreciate the benefits of teamwork, determination and most of all, self-belief.

Anyone passionate and determined enough to want a head-start on the career ladder is fine by us. Our apprentices play a major role in the future success of our business so we aim to give them as much encouragement as possible. Just like us, they’re full of big ideas and eager to learn and grow.  The environment we create here is fun and engaging, so naturally they fit right in. And because we tend to do in a month what many companies do in a year, the sky really is the limit.
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