Training and Development Opportunities

A majority of businesses like Sainsbury’s use training schemes to ensure that staffs are able to fully meet the needs of their job role. Training enables staff to feel motivated to work hard and to deliver the organisations objectives. Many training schemes can be expensive but in the long run they can be very cost effective as they avoid wastage, rework costs and the costs of lost business opportunities. Having trained and motivated staff enables Sainsbury’s to maintain a competitive advantage in the market. Not only does training benefit the business but it also boosts staff morale and people generally prefer to be creative, innovative, adaptable and productive.

Sainsbury’s offers a number of training and support schemes. Sainsbury’s is passionate about having a clean, energetic and safe working environment for all their employees. They also believe that all their employees should be trained and have a good knowledge of the area they work in. This ensures they are working to the best of their ability and are providing customers with the service they require.

Sainsbury’s have five main principles. Their fifth principle is to be a great place to work. Sainsbury’s regard themselves as being a ‘Great place to work’ after having been voted one of the top 100 graduate employers, one of the top 50 places Where Women Want to Work and the Best place to work in IT with the Retail Sector. Sainsbury’s are proud of the hard work and commitment their colleagues have. They believe all their employees must be valued, supported and given the chance to develop their skills. In 2007, Sainsbury’s gave 118,000 colleagues the chance to share in the success of Sainsbury’s by paying �56 million in colleague bonuses. Also, Sainsbury’s was the first supermarket to sign the Government’s Skills Pledge in June 2007 which gave colleagues the opportunity to gain a nationally recognised qualification.

One example of a training scheme that Sainsbury’s offer to their employees is Get Ahead which enables certain employees to work in retail management. In order to take part in the Get Ahead scheme, applicants must have 3A levels with some retail experience and must have an enthusiastic and friendly personality. The management training scheme trains applicants to become a Department Manager in a period of nine to eighteen months. Applicants are trained in store with the support of other Sainsbury’s employees. The training scheme enables employees to pick up new skills such as communication, problem solving and team playing which will help them through life. They will also learn about work that they will need to carry out when they become a Department Manager and this includes:



Part of the scheme also includes the applicant visiting a rival supermarket to review their performance. Also, they will meet all the department managers of a certain Sainsbury’s supermarket and will take part in meetings and getting a good understanding of what the job entails. The Get Ahead scheme is a type of on-the-job training which enables the applicant to earn money whilst they learn new skills. Employees will earn between 250 to 300 per week. At the end of the training, applicants will be equipped to be a Department Manager in store with their own team of employees to manage and guide.

Another example of a training scheme that Sainsbury’s provides its customers is the Pre-registration pharmacy scheme. Qualified pharmacists will be taught all the skills needed to become a retail pharmacist in the course of a year. The scheme follows the guidelines set down by The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. Applicants receive both technical and professional training to help them towards becoming trained retail pharmacists. Also, applicants are provided with a tutor who will guide them through the course and help in any aspects of the training scheme. Sainsbury’s will offer support after applicants have passed their registration exam in areas such as technical development and will offer additional professional and management training in store and off site. The scheme runs in conjunction with the National Pharmacy Association and once applicants become trained pharmacists they can look forward to earning a salary of 21.5k!

Sainsbury’s also offer a scheme which is called the Bakery, meat and fish apprenticeship scheme. This offers Sainsbury’s employees with the opportunities to gain a qualification that is nationally recognised during their time with them. Between 2007 and 2008, Sainsbury’s recruited 110 apprentices. With this scheme, colleagues are given the chance to become fully qualified in a matter of 12-18 months. This not only benefits the employee but also tackles the serious problem of a skills shortage in the UK.

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