North East Connected

Greggs launches national apprenticeship programme

An iconic UK bakery food-on-the-go retailer has launched an apprenticeship scheme to fast-track its national expansion plans and develop the next generation of retail talent.

Newcastle-headquartered Greggs has teamed up with local training provider Gateshead College to deliver the initiative, which will see 120 apprentices in eight locations across the country trained in retail service or retail management. Around 20 apprentices will be based at sites in Tyne & Wear and County Durham, while others will be located in Norfolk, Bristol, London, Greater Manchester, Yorkshire and the Midlands.

This is Greggs’ latest foray into the world of apprenticeships. Following a competitive tender process, the company selected Gateshead College as its preferred training provider and together the two organisations will work together to deliver the programme. They will train apprentices to an industry-defined standard, which replaces traditional qualification frameworks and requires staff to demonstrate specific skills, competencies and personal attributes when carrying out their day-to-day jobs.

The scheme was launched to help Greggs develop a new pipeline of skills that can support its future growth plans, which include the opening of more outlets in the South West of England and Northern Ireland. The company was formed over 75 years ago when John Gregg got on his pushbike and started delivering fresh eggs and yeast to families in Newcastle. Today the company is a national brand with more than 1,800 outlets, 20,000 staff and an annual turnover of almost £900m.

The retail service course will equip staff with vital knowledge of several subject areas including customer service, sales, equality and diversity, and workplace health and safety. They will also gain an in-depth insight into the Greggs business model and acquire transferable skills such as teamwork, problem-solving and presentation and interview techniques.

Meanwhile, apprentices on the team leader course will learn additional skills in management, motivation and conflict resolution.

Roisin Currie, people and retail director at Greggs, said: “We’re thrilled to be working in partnership with Gateshead College on this exciting project, which is a great way of bringing new skills and fresh ideas into our business. This unique, collaborative approach has created a training offer that has been designed specifically to support our business goals and future growth plans.

“We chose Gateshead College because of its longstanding history of providing high quality education and training and invaluable expertise in delivering apprenticeship programmes. We believe our partnership with the college will be key to training our future workforce and help us continue to drive the business forward.”

Gateshead College has a 60-year track record of sourcing high-calibre apprentices for large companies and SMEs across the North East. Rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, the college is leading the way in education and skills by providing industry with the skilled workforces it needs now and in the future.

Ivan Jepson, director of business development at Gateshead College, said: “We’re delighted to be developing this bespoke apprenticeship programme with Greggs, an iconic national business with strong roots in the North East. It’s great that the company is investing in apprenticeships and has chosen us to help build a professional, skilled workforce for the future.

“Together with Greggs, we’ve developed a flexible, dynamic training solution that is tailored specifically to the needs of the business. This will further strengthen the company’s position as one of the country’s leading national food-to-go retailers and create exciting career progression opportunities for the apprentices.”

To find out more about Gateshead College and the courses on offer, visit

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