November 1st, 2010
Morrisons is to employ 1,000 homeless and vulnerable people over the next three years.
The Bradford-based retailer aims to offer ten per cent of the jobs it creates at new stores to vulnerable people in a move which it describes as giving them a hand-up rather than hand-outs.
The UK’s fourth largest supermarket group, which has 425 stores, is running the initiative in partnership with the Salvation Army and social enterprise Create.
The firm said it believed that by investing in people who needed a “hand-up”, it would gain loyal and hard-working employees.
Norman Pickavance, group HR director, said: “We have a strong record of providing great careers for people through training and opportunities helping people to progress from the shop floor to the top floor of our business.
“This initiative will help disadvantaged people to get their lives back on track. We look forward to taking this approach nationally and we would encourage other British businesses to join us on this initiative.”
The initiative has won backing from Baroness Warsi, Minister without Portfolio, who said: “This is a great example of businesses working with the community to create jobs and drive growth at a time of economic uncertainty.
“Initiatives like this will make a real difference to people’s lives, providing them and the country with the skills they need to promote growth.”
The announcement comes as the first five people trained by the Morrisons’ pre-employment academy started work in the new Morrisons store in Harehills in Leeds.
The scheme offers new staff three months’ of training, in the classroom and on the job, leading to a Qualifications and Credit Framework Level 1 qualification. People can then go on to gain a QCF Level 2 qualification, or take up an apprenticeship with the group, including as a butcher, baker or fish- monger.
Morrisons operates the biggest and longest-running apprenticeship scheme of all UK supermarkets and is on track to train 100,000 current employees to QCF Level 2 by 2011.
Last month Morrisons announced a new partnership with Bradford University’s management school under which it will fund 20 under-graduates through a three-year degree course in food manufacturing, paying them a salary.
Morrisons will outline its performance for the third quarter of its financial year on Thursday.
Meanwhile, former Morrisons chief Marc Bolland is expected to announce Marks & Spencer’s return to Continental Europe when he unveils his review of the business next week. The high street chain has reportedly contacted Spanish chain El Corte Ingles about taking back some of the nine shops it sold to them and is also said to be looking into re-acquiring some of the 18 French stores that went to retailer Galaries Lafayette, including its former Paris flagship store.
Source: Telegraph & Argus