Apprenticeships at the John Lewis Partnership

Apprenticeship Programmes

It’s National Apprenticeship Week 2023 and throughout this week, we’ll be celebrating all of the incredible opportunities our market-leading Apprenticeship programmes have to offer. We’ll also be hearing from our inspiring Partners about how the support they have received through their own apprenticeship journeys has helped spring board their careers forward and developed them personally and professionally.


What We’ve Achieved So Far…

Since the announcement of a government levy was introduced in 2017, we’ve enrolled over 3,600 Partners onto one of our apprenticeship schemes. This number is ever increasing with every new cohort. In 2022 we enrolled over 700 Partners to become apprentices!


Developing From Within

We encourage and support our existing Partners to develop their careers and our Apprenticeships give them the tools to do so. We’ve run more than 26 schemes covering a variety of different business areas including; Butcher & Fishmonger, Leadership, Advanced CIMA qualifications and Human Resources. So, if you’re not looking for an Apprenticeship right now, you can know that future fulfilling opportunities await once you’ve started elsewhere in the Partnership. The Partnership’s Purpose of working together for a happier world first starts with happier people. Our Apprenticeships are just one way in which we aim to achieve our Purpose. 🌍 💚


Partner Stories

We recently caught up with 3 Partners who wanted to share their experiences:

Neil Howard, Partner & Product Specialist

“My Apprenticeship has been a really good opportunity for me to obtain a recognised qualification for my own career development. It’s also helped me get the best out of my team through supportive conversations in my current role as a Product Specialist. For example; how to explore new ideas and new ways of working. It has given me a wider awareness of our business and strengthened my own personal goals, as well as the business goals that support the Partnership’s 5-year plan.

The apprenticeship has also supported my English and Maths which is an additional bonus. I have a very established communication style and a really wide stakeholder portfolio. As a result I am currently mentoring future generations of people considering or who have already signed up to do an apprenticeship! Finally, the apprenticeship has helped raise my profile within my local branch and also the wider Partnership.

This has opened more doors to some really exciting projects that I have been lucky enough to have been involved in. Anyone considering an apprenticeship should seek out further information.”  


Lucy Wales, Partner & Team Manager

“I joined the Partnership in 2016 as a part-time Supermarket Assistant at Waitrose & Partners, Storrington to get some pocket money whilst I was at college. When my 2 years of sixth-form were over – and I still had no clue what I wanted to study at university! – I decided not to take my unconditional first choice offer, and instead pursue opportunities within the Partnership. Over the next few years I got myself trained in all areas of the branch, making myself as valuable as possible and gaining variation in my daily role.

Fast forward to Autumn 2020 when I embarked on my first apprenticeship – Level 4 Pathways to Retail Management. This qualification gave me so many additional skills and opportunities to develop both personally and professionally, whilst getting paid to work and complete my learning rather than racking up debt. Towards the end of my apprenticeship an Assistant Team Manager secondment was advertised at a nearby Waitrose & Partners, Worthing branch, which I was able to secure.

Without the skills and knowledge gained during my apprenticeship qualification I would never have had the confidence to apply for a management role, let alone one at a much larger branch with many more facilities and services than I had been used to. With the immense support of my branch manager and the leadership team at Worthing, I secured a Team Manager position at John Lewis & Partners Chichester, providing me with a completely new challenge working on the other side of the business. I completed my Level 4 apprenticeship in March 2022 when I was 3 months into my new role, achieving a distinction and putting all my learning into practice.

After absolutely loving this experience I wasted no time enrolling onto the Level 5 Leading the Operation apprenticeship in May 2022, less than 2 months after my previous course had been completed. Looking forward, I hope to continue embarking onto these learning and development journeys, allowing me to continuously develop my skills throughout my career within the Partnership, always thinking ‘what’s next’, and knowing the business is committed to delivering these progression opportunities.

This picture of me was taken at the Partnership’s Platinum Jubilee Pudding Competition, held in July 2022 to celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 year reign. My Platinum Posset Fit For the Queen won me 1st place and an article in the Gazette (internal publication)!”  


Oli Rainford, Partner & Selling Assistant

“I joined the Partnership near the end of 2020, after moving to a new city and needing a job during the height of Covid. With my background being in hospitality, my normal avenues for income were either all closed by government mandate, or shut-down entirely, and so I started broadening my net, sticking applications into all sorts of places, John Lewis included. My initial plan was to get back on my feet, before searching for another job. But instead, two years later, I’m still with the Partnership. The chief reason for this; the culture of support I feel at work here.

I had Team Managers who invested in my ideas, colleagues who actively co-operated with me on projects, and an opportunity to take the years of experience I already had, and use them in new, interesting ways that actively progressed my knowledge and skills. The Retail Management apprenticeship is just another great example of this support. It’s helped me convert my experiences into tangible notes, projects and achievements, and bolstered my knowledge with theory and evidence. I feel more confident in not just my day-to-day working, but also my longer term plans for progression.”


Apprenticeship Opportunities

Throughout the year, you will find some of our Apprenticeship programmes advertised externally. Make sure you are registered for job alerts so we can send you an email when these opportunities become available. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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