Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s is offering its 150,000-strong workforce the chance to gain formal qualifications in stock-control and health and safety.
The retailer has joined forces with awarding body EDI to offer an NVQ Level 2 qualification – equivalent to five GCSEs at A-C grade.
On the job training in areas such as stock control, visual merchandising, health and safety and administration will all count towards the qualification.
Employees will also have the chance to brush up on their maths and English skills by taking a Level 1 numeracy and literacy web-based course – equivalent to one GCSE.
The move is designed to support the government’s strategy to boost UK workforce skills.
Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King said: “It is our intention that at least 25% of our colleagues will achieve a nationally recognised qualification in the next five years.”
John Denham, skills secretary said: “I commend Sainsbury’s for taking this step. We know that those companies that invest in skills are best equipped to weather tough economic times, and are also best placed to capitalise on opportunities for growth.”
The supermarket joins other retail employers such as Tesco, who earlier this year announced plans to train staff for professional qualifications.