Superdry: Redefining apprenticeships

Superdry helped change the face of the UK high street. Now this global fashion brand is doing the same for work-place learning.

Less than three years’ ago, the company decided to capitalise on the high number of young people wanting to work for the company.

“Superdry has always had significant numbers of young people applying to work for us,”

explains Jez Light, Group Learning and Development Manager at the retailer.

“So, we decided to harness their enthusiasm even if they hadn’t quite got the skills we needed at the time. We introduced apprenticeships to the business, which we deliver in partnership Gloucestershire College.

“We want these young people to be trained, because we want them rising through the business to be leading their own departments in ten years’ time.”

However, apprenticeships were new to Superdry. So Jez, working in partnership with Simon Amesbury who heads up Superdry Recruitment, led by example.

“The first two apprentices were in HR, then the legal department took on an apprentice, and she did so well that just two years’ later she was appointed to an Executive Assistant General Counsel role. Another went into the digital design department and another into our finance team. Simon followed suit, adding an apprentice into his recruitment team.”

Over the last two years the company has expanded its apprenticeship programme further, into practically every area of the company, from finance to merchandising, events and PR, property and category management.

“Every training and skills course we do is designed to make our people more productive, enjoy learning and boost the profitability of the company in some way,”

adds Jez.

Superdry now has 23 apprentices, all of which are building their careers within the company.