Sainsbury's has today announced that City & Guilds, the UK's largest provider of vocational education, has formally accredited the high standards of training available at the retailer's six Food Colleges and Bakery College. 20,000 Sainsbury's colleagues from across Britain will attend the Colleges this year making this the largest ever accreditation in the history of City & Guilds.
Gwyn Burr, Sainsbury's Customer Service and Colleague Director, said: "Sainsbury's is absolutely committed to giving all of our colleagues the opportunity to develop and learn new skills despite the challenging climate. This accreditation from City & Guilds is in recognition of the high standards we have set at the Colleges and we can already see how our customers are benefitting from improved service and quality from our newly trained counter colleagues.
"The great food and service available on our counters, bakery and in our cafes is a key part of Sainsbury's heritage and something our customers tell us is important to them."
Sharon Saxton, Group Board Director City & Guilds, said: "We are delighted to be working with Sainsbury's to formally recognise the skills gained through the Food Colleges and Bakery College. City & Guilds is committed to developing and recognising talent through workplace learning."
The Colleges offer training to colleagues working on the meat, fish, deli, hot food counters, bakery and the café. Colleagues enjoy in-depth training from a team of experts that covers product knowledge, knife/preparation skills and practice, sales, customer service and merchandising. Coaching skills are also taught to ensure the training can be cascaded and passed on when colleagues return to their stores.
The six Sainsbury's Food Colleges were opened following the successful opening of Sainsbury's Bakery College in May last year. The Bakery College, located in the Whitworths Mill near Northampton, was an industry first and has halved the amount of time it takes for Sainsbury's bakers to have the skills to produce great products, with some of them completing a Level Two qualification as a result of their time spent there.
The launch of the Food Colleges follows news last year that Sainsbury's was the first ever food retailer to be awarded Gold accreditation by 'Investors in People'. This is the highest possible award and was only granted following interviews with over 2,000 colleagues working in supermarkets, convenience stores, depots and store support centres.
Notes to Editors
Sainsbury's relies on 150,000 colleagues to deliver great service to customers every single day. The company is committed to championing equality, diversity, inclusion and flexible working options for colleagues and remains committed to recruiting, retaining and engaging the best people, from backgrounds that reflect the communities they serve. The company ethos is that every colleague, no matter where they work or the role they perform, should be encouraged to develop and make best use of their skills.