Tesco rejects skills secretary John Denham’s external provider apprenticeships for in-house training

The chief executive of the UK’s biggest supermarket chain has insisted in-house training is the way forward for apprenticeships, contrary to government recommendations to use external providers.

Skills secretary John Denham last week said businesses should work with training providers to deliver apprenticeships.

He said: “Apprenticeships are one of the things we see as key to our competitiveness and prosperity. Businesses need to work with training providers to deliver them. There is a cost for employers, but it is far less than having employees without the skills they need.”

However, Tesco boss Terry Leahy said that training should be relevant and job specific.

“Businesses should use their own people for training, and avoid outside consultants where possible,” he said, explaining internal people were more familiar with company culture.

Tesco runs an in-house NVQ-accredited apprenticeship scheme for 450 employees a year.

The government has called for businesses to support apprenticeships, and announced that the number of schemes would rise from 250,000 to 400,000 by 2010-11.

Leahy said: “I am a huge fan of apprenticeships because I have seen what they can do for individuals and what they have done for my business.”

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