Flowerworld, which is part of Morrisons supermarket group and is based in Sinfin, has taken on several Derby College Floristry apprentices over the past three years.
Having previously focused on Floristry students, The Flowerworld Employability Academy is now open to students on any programme across the colleges in Derby, Ilkeston and Morley.
The programme, which has now been rolled out nationally, consists of seven separate modules, including job application, job interview and employee expectations. Students are then offered paid work experience after successfully completing the modules.
Louise Ward, People Advisor at Flowerworld, said: “Working with the college has been a great success and launching the Employability Academy will provide even more opportunities for students who would like to work for us.
“We are passionate about training and offer our people clear pathways to internal progression. We also like to be flexible, so hours of work are designed to suit the needs of our staff. We have a 9.30am to 2.30pm shift, for instance, to help parents with school aged children.”
Using around four million stems of flowers, the Flowerworld team of 440 people prepares 400,000 bouquets every week, both by hand and machine.
Among the students who have already benefited from the employer academy in the past is Amy Sykes from Long Eaton, a former air hostess who was looking for a career change so she can spend more time with her young daughter.
Amy, who took the full-time level 2 Diploma in Floral Practical Skills at Broomfield Hall, was the first person to be taken on through Flowerworld’s Employability Academy.
She was initially employed part-time at Flowerworld and has since secured full-time retail floristry work in its Bulwell store.
Amy, who passed her course with Distinction, added: “I find flower arranging interesting and I especially like making up contemporary designs for corporate customers.
“I’m glad I changed career direction. People are sometimes put off from making changes to their work life because they think it’s going to be too difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. My course was full-time but the way in which our learning was structured meant I only had to go into college two days a week. It was convenient and I was able to make it work for me.”