Trade kitchens giant Howdens has held a graduation ceremony to celebrate the record number of apprentices who completed its apprenticeship programme in 2022.
A total of 215 apprentices completed their apprenticeships with Howdens last year, which the national retailer says is its largest number to date.
The event was held at the NCC in Birmingham and was hosted by two former apprentices. As part of the ceremony, attendees also had the chance to listen to talks from Howdens CEO Andrew Livingston, regional director Tim Mason and operations director Julian Lee.
Howdens offers apprenticeship schemes across several areas of its business, including logistics, manufacturing, engineering and IT, across its network of over 800 depots.
According to Howdens, it has employed over 4,300 apprentices since 2009. As a result, one-in-12 Howdens employees started out their career at the business as an apprentice and almost 80% of apprentice graduates remained in the business in a permanent role.
Howdens early careers manager Emma Leech added: “We are delighted to have been able to honour our apprentices at the graduation ceremony. At Howdens, we are very proud of the graduates and our apprenticeship programme. We know it is the ideal way to develop people and to prepare them for a happy, productive, and rewarding career.”
“Our commitment is to ensure our apprentices feel valued, secure, and in a position to make a long-term career at Howdens. From the first day’s training, right through to the integration into the workplace, our apprentices receive a warm welcome from our teams who have a genuine passion for their role and the business.”
Continuing its apprenticeship programme, Howdens has opened vacancies for over 100 new apprenticeship positions, which will be filled throughout the summer months. The national retailer has also been expanding into Ireland, recently reporting the opening of its seventh depot, in Cork. CEO Livingston said he believes Howdens still has “plenty of room” to grow its business.