The challenges of the pandemic have affected every person, business and community. As the UK lays the foundations for recovery, Tesco recognises the important role it needs to play.

A new report for Tesco, produced by Public First, sets out the retailer’s contribution at a national level and in every constituency across the UK and allows the Company to identify the actions that will have a lasting positive impact.

One key finding is that simple reforms to the Apprenticeship Levy could get thousands more young people into employment. Strict rules on how funds are spent mean that businesses like Tesco, are currently unable to use the Apprenticeship Levy for any broader training, short courses or to ensure we can equally offer apprenticeships across all store types. Tesco is calling on the Government to urgently take action and increase flexibility for businesses to make better use of the Apprenticeship Levy.

Tesco is the largest private sector employer in the UK, with over 300,000 colleagues. But its reach goes far beyond that. This report shows that, working across its extended supply chain and support for local economic demand, Tesco supports £53 billion for the UK economy, and nearly 1 million jobs.

Young people, and particularly those in lower-affluent areas, have been disproportionately affected by pandemic. Against this backdrop is the disappointing revelation that in the five months to January 2021, the number of apprenticeships declined 18% year on year, with 36,700 fewer places.

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