Sainsbury’s partnership

Sainsbury’s Qualifications Manager, Sarah Jukes explains how Apprenticeships have enabled the business to retain talent and build managers of the future.

Our partnership with Sainsbury’s aims to help them develop their staff through Apprenticeships. From delivering level 2 Apprenticeships they’ve recently started to offer level 3 Team Leader Apprenticeships. The qualifications have allowed Sainsbury’s to retain talent and develop managers of the future.

Sarah Jukes, Qualifications Manager at Sainsbury’s said:

“Training is very important to Sainsbury’s and we offer a suite of nationally recognised qualifications to colleagues to help them progress through their career with the company.

“We first started working with learndirect six years ago. We were looking for a training provider which had a good national reach, could deal with colleagues in stores across the UK, had a good reputation, a good OFTSED rating and someone we could work in partnership with in the delivery of our qualifications to staff. learndirect really fit the bill.”

Apprenticeships play a hugely important part in the training Sainsbury’s provides to its staff.

Sarah said: “Apprenticeships are particularly valuable because they offer a progression route for colleagues to move into more senior roles and this was one of the reasons we recently introduced the level 3 Team Leader Apprenticeship. This builds the capacity in stores for people to move on to become department or store managers.

“This means we retain talent within Sainsbury’s. The Apprenticeships build employees’ confidence, skills and knowledge and it gives them something which is nationally recognised which puts them in good stead for their future career.”

The nature of a retail environment means Sainsbury’s need training to be flexible to work around shift patterns.

Sarah said: “Obviously hours are changeable in a supermarket so we needed a provider who could work around this. We get good communication of assessor visits which all staff get at least every 4-6 weeks to chart their progress, do some assessment and make sure they’re on track and getting the support they need from the store.

“We also get great flexibility from the online functional skills delivery in maths and English. It’s quite a new concept to Sainsbury’s to use online technology for the delivery of training but it’s definitely the way I think we need to be going. It gives the apprentices the opportunity to fit the learning around their lives. They can do it anytime they like, from wherever they like and they know they’ve got the support of a tutor available to them as and when needed.

“Maths and English skills are vital these days and having that support is only going to benefit employees in their day-to-day role. Working in a supermarket we’re dealing with money, stock and all sorts of things which require a certain level of literacy and numeracy.

“Working with learndirect has been a really positive experience. It’s important to build a working partnership which I think we’ve got with learndirect and our account management. They really understand the business which means they can offer the correct solutions and the correct sort of support. We’re looking at the moment to expand the offer and see what other areas we can move into and learndirect will be a huge and valuable partner in that work we take forward.”

Discover more about our retail qualifications.