Mulberry offers bags of opportunity

(Photograph) - A successful apprenticeship programme at leather goods business Mulberry is to offer places for 10 more trainees in September, writes Steve Hook.

Of last year's intake, eight out of 10 have been retained, with the Somerset firm citing job security as one of the main attractions to new recruits - while other training providers have struggled to retain apprentices. Supply director Ian Scott said: "Many businesses say there's a job at the end if you're good enough, but we employ them from the beginning so they have security."

The apprenticeship in "leather goods manufacture" - involving an 18-month course - comes after the firm identified a lack of technical training provision in the area, with the risk that skills will not be passed on to younger generations.

It says school-leavers who take up the opportunity can qualify at NVQ level 2 (GCSE-equivalent), with the guarantee of full-time employment at the end of it. There are already 58 applicants for the second intake of 10 places.

Mulberry was founded in the 1970s and its goods are sold worldwide. Its Somerset HQ employs 209 staff. Photograph: Jim Wileman

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