Sandwich artist questions tabled by MP

Sandwich artist questions tabled by MP

Questions have been raised over apprenticeships offered by a fast-food chain.

Dudley MP Ian Austin is demanding answers after it emerged that Subway are offering £2.60 per hour for a role as a ‘sandwich artist’ in the Black Country.

Mr Austin said the apprenticeship was advertised by Job Centre Plus and an identical job in Dudley was advertised earlier this month.

He has asked the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) to investigate.

Although the MP has put questions to government over the issue, apprenticeships at Subway were first put in the spotlight by FE Week last month.

Mr Austin said: “I want to see every youngster in full-time education or proper training and I want to see more apprenticeships.

“Schemes must give apprentices the skills and experience they need to advance their careers and they have to have proper training. They call it an apprenticeship but there doesn’t seem to be much training and it says it’s permanent.

“I’ve asked the National Apprenticeship Service to look into the apprenticeships Subway are offering to see if they are genuine apprenticeships or simply a means to pay young staff below the minimum wage.”

In response, a spokesperson for Subway said they offer “a comprehensive training programme for all its team members”.

The spokesperson added: “Each franchisee candidate is required to complete formal training and sandwich artists are trained on customer service excellence, food quality and health and safety procedures.

“Although Subway stores do not operate a nationally accredited apprenticeship scheme, individual stores or franchises may pursue their own scheme in their local area.”

When asked by FE Week whether they would be conducting an investigation into Subway, a NAS spokesperson said they could not comment due to purdah.

However, the spokesperson added: “The NAS is clear that all apprenticeships should offer employment, significant new learning and a nationally recognised qualification, and represent value for money in public spending. The Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England and actions to drive up quality will ensure every Apprenticeship meets rigorous standards.”