The Co-operative Funeralcare has today (7 March 2013) unveiled the UK’s first funeral apprenticeship programme.
In the run up to National Apprenticeship Week (11-15 March), the UK’s leading funeral director is launching its new on the job framework which will be available to all new employees, allowing them to gain nationally recognised qualifications within the industry.
The apprenticeship will ensure that employees of The Co-operative Funeralcare have access to high quality, industry focussed, nationally recognised qualifications that include functional skills, such as Maths and English, alongside competency and knowledge based funeral industry skills.
The industry’s first national apprenticeship framework has been designed and created by The Co-operative Funeralcare, in partnership with the Sector Skills Council and awarding body EDI, and incorporates a QCF (formerly known as NVQ) Level 2 and a QCF Level 3 in Funeral Operations and Services.
Apprentices will gain a range of transferrable skills, qualifications and professional competences, helping them to provide the very best client care, and to progress their career, while earning a competitive salary.
Karen Fenton, Head of Human Resources for The Co-operative Funeralcare, said: “We piloted nine apprenticeships across the country through the Co-operative Group’s Apprenticeships and the prospect to expand this figure is phenomenal.
“We are providing apprentices with unique opportunities to enable them to feel valued and be part of a business which has social responsibility and ethics at its heart. Sadly, we still have a situation whereby far too many people are out of work in the UK and we believe that businesses have a real responsibility to provide new long term career opportunities so that talented people with the right behaviours are supported, motivated and nurtured.
“There are many people looking for opportunities such as this and we have been overwhelmed by the hard work and commitment our new apprentices have already shown in their roles.”
The QCF Level 2 and 3 in Funeral Services and Operations includes care of the deceased, preparing the coffin, making arrangements for viewing, floral tributes, driving in a cortege and bearing the coffin.