Asda plans to recruit up to 25,000 new staff by the end of next year, including 6,000 apprentices this year alone.

The apprenticeship scheme is to be run in partnership with City & Guilds and includes 150 apprenticeships for senior management roles at the stores it recently acquired from Netto.

“We’re being very ambitious but we believe we have a huge opportunity to promote supermarkets as a career,” said Asda policy director Sarah Dickins. “This is not just a marketing exercise, we’re very serious about improving what we can offer staff in their careers.”

She claimed suppliers would benefit from the plans as customers “can tell the moment they walk in” when staff are well trained and regard their job as a long-term career.

News of the plans comes after Morrisons revealed plans to train more than 12,000 apprentices in 2011.

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Editor's Comment: Giving people a career is one way we add to the Big Society (Dalton Philips, 26 March 2011)