SUPERMARKET Aldi is set to launch a range of apprenticeships for young people in Bolton ahead of its move to Logistics North in 2016.

The discount retailer has announced plans to hire 5,000 staff across the UK — 400 in its new Bolton headquarters — and it will create an academy at its distribution centre.

The complex, currently based in Middleton, will move to the former Cutacre opencast mine site when it is transformed into a £200 million industrial and retail development over the next two years.

An Aldi spokesman also said the company is looking at a number of sites in the town to launch new stores, but has not revealed where they are looking.

He said: “Aldi is working closely with Bolton Council to create a number of recruitment opportunities for its new regional distribution centre, including apprenticeships in construction and in the distribution centre so that Aldi is able to deliver a range of jobs locally ahead of the 2016 opening.

“Aldi has a number of sites under consideration in and around Bolton for new stores, and discussions with Bolton Council are on-going.

“This follows on from a successful store opening in Walkden in February.”

Also included in Harworth Estates’ Logistics North blueprint are plans for shops, business units, a 100-bed hotel and a country park.

The new Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Martin Donaghy, used his inaugural address to call on more businesses to take on apprentices.

The executive member for regeneration at Bolton Council Cllr Ebrahim Adia said: “Aldi have pledged their support to strategies that seek to maximise the job and training opportunities for local people and Team Bolton Partnership including Bolton Council, Job Centre Plus and Bolton College are delighted to be leading discussions with Aldi on behalf of partners including neighbouring authorities.

“Ultimately this will contribute to local economic regeneration and see hundreds of people realise the benefits of increased skill levels and employment in a growing sector.”