Starbucks UK & Ireland has announced plans to hire an additional 1,000 apprentices over the next two years, with up to 700 apprenticeships opportunities being offered in Greater London during the period. The move follows the announcement made by the coffee chain in November last year that it was on track to open 300 new stores and create 5,000 new jobs over the next five years in the UK. The announcement was marked by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, Howard Schultz, chief executive and founder of Starbucks, and Kris Engskov, managing director of Starbucks UK & Ireland meeting at a Starbucks store in Vigo Street in London earlier today to talk to current apprentices about their experiences working on the scheme, discuss the announcement’s implications for London, and try their hands at making the perfect latte. Johnson said: “This is stonking news from Starbucks and great for young Londoners. Providing apprenticeships is a win-win, offering a much needed foot onto the ladder of success for school leavers, whilst also being hugely rewarding for the companies involved. Since the start of my campaign to boost training opportunities of this type, London's businesses have created nearly 76,000 apprenticeships, meaning we are well on our way to achieving our 100,000 target. I urge others to follow Starbucks' excellent example and do the same.” Engskov said: “We believe that young people can build great careers in retail, especially those who don’t want to follow a traditional academic route. We currently have district managers, in their early 20’s, who joined Starbucks out of school as part-time baristas, and are now responsible for the operation of 12 stores and manage over 100 partners. We have been steadily working towards providing this scheme for young people and believe it’s a great way to attract new talent into our business to improve our employee retention and support our future growth, as well as upping the skill-set of the wider coffee industry. ”At a time of record youth unemployment, we’re delighted to provide opportunities for committed young people to acquire new skills and paid employment when it’s most needed.” The Starbucks apprenticeship is a qualification equivalent to five A-C GCSE grades. Recruitment will run throughout UK stores during the year and apprenticeship training will happen over 12 months, involving a combination of on the job, classroom and webinar-based training. Those that successfully complete the year-long scheme will be offered a permanent job with the company and the opportunity to shape their career in retail, dependent on their aspirations. Starbucks said its aim was to target individuals with a passion for teamwork who are looking for employment opportunities where they can acquire work-ready skills. S ince Starbucks began the scheme in April 2012, it has welcomed over 50 new apprentices to the business. It has proved so successful in attracting the right talent that the company is significantly raising its target. Starbucks said it had also been working with, a website dedicated to helping school and college leavers to find opportunities that exist outside of traditional university. The partnership has been set up to offer alternative options for young people who are looking to forge a successful career in retail.