Tesco boosts workforce skills with training pilot

Tesco will pilot adult learning
schemes in the next three months to boost skills levels within its workforce.

The supermarket giant hopes to
attract government funding for the scheme from the Department for Education and
Employment’s drive, announced last week, to improve basic literacy and numeracy

Tesco director of learning Kim
Birnie said the scheme was crucial to the company because of its diverse
workforce. She said, “We have to make sure our staff have the skills they need
to do their jobs. We employ some people who are older and some who may have
left school very early, so skill levels can be very variable.”

Tesco’s scheme follows the
Government’s pledge to spend £1.5bn on adult learning over three years. The
Government aims to raise literacy and numeracy standards to the levels expected
of 11-year-olds. Tesco’s training will also include IT skills.

The Government is considering
offering grants to employers to cover national insurance payments for
low-skilled workers receiving training, to encourage businesses to coach them.
It also wants to create 2,000 learning centres at colleges, schools and
workplaces across the country.

Education Secretary David Blunkett
said, “We will provide businesses with the backing that they need to get their
staff trained.

A business which has a fully
skilled workforce is one which is equipped to succeed in the new knowledge

By Richard Staines

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