PRESS RELEASE: Royal recognition for Co-op’s Funeralcare Apprenticeships

Funeralcare awarded for it's apprenticeship programme

Co-op Funeralcare has been awarded a Princess Royal Training Award for its apprenticeship programme. The UK’s leading funeral provider opened its doors to apprentices in 2013 and has since seen approximately 500 joining every year.


As one of only 40 organisations honoured with a Princess Royal Training Award, the accolade recognises the value of training and employee development and celebrates examples of best practice. The award acknowledges the inclusivity of Co-op’s apprenticeship programme and its instrumental role in the creation of national occupational standards for the funeral sector.


Co-op Funeralcare is the only national funeral provider to offer a funeral apprenticeship and celebrated its 2000th apprentice in July this year. The apprenticeship has attracted a diverse range of applicants over the past four years, drawing in people of all ages and from all walks of life. From classical musicians to plumbers and police men, Funeralcare is often the chosen career for those wanting a new and rewarding challenge.


Commenting on its award win, Steve Jones, Head of HR for Co-op Funeralcare added: ‘’Four years since launch, it’s great to see that we’re being recognised for the work that goes into the training and development of our apprentices and we’re thrilled to be presented with a Princess Royal Training Award.


“Our intention has always been to provide people from all walks of life with the opportunity to develop a worthwhile career in funerals. Providing they possess compassion, empathy, excellent service and organisational skills, we can teach everything else on the job.’’


Commenting on this year’s recipients, Chris Jones, Chief Executive of the City & Guilds Group said: ‘‘It’s fantastic to celebrate the second annual Princess Royal Training Awards and to commend Co-op Funeralcare.


‘‘It has never been more important for Britain’s businesses to invest in training to boost their productivity, address skills gaps and develop their leaders. I congratulate Co-op Funeralcare, who presented examples of the innovative, inspiring and impactful training that’s taking place across the UK today. They are truly worthy recipients of this rigorously assessed royal award and we are delighted to be able to honour their achievements through the Princess Royal Training Awards.” 


Commenting on his role, Co-op Funeralcare’s 2000th apprentice, Ryan Coombes said: “Joining Co-op Funeralcare was the best decision I’ve made. I’ve learnt so much already and within just three months as an apprentice I was promoted to a full-time Funeral Services Operative. It’s so rewarding to be part of something so important to the community, helping people through a tough time.


’’As I look to the future I can’t wait to develop my career with Co-op Funeralcare, working towards my goal of becoming a Funeral Director.’’

To find out more about our apprenticeships, have a look at our Careers page.

For further information contact

Claire Newmarch

PR Assistant

Sarah Pyatt

Press Officer