Courses on offer at Sainsbury’s six Food Colleges and Bakery College have been formally accredited by vocational education provider City & Guilds, it was announced today.
Some 20,000 employees from the supermarket’s various food counters, bakeries and cafes will have attended the colleges by the end of the year, developing customer service and practical skills that will now be nationally recognised.
Employees attending the colleges receive in-depth training from a team of experts covering subjects such as product knowledge, knife/preparation skills & practice, sales, customer service and merchandising.
Sainsbury’s Bakery College in Whitworths Mill near Northampton was the first training facility of its kind to arrive in the UK when it opened in May 2010.
CEO of the supermarket Justin King used his speech at the 2010 IGD Food & Grocery Industry Skills & Employment Summit to explain how he expected the education centre to benefit the company’s employees.
He said: “The college will get more qualified bakers into our stores more quickly, which will improve the quality of our offer at the same time as providing our colleagues with the skills they need to carve out a long and rewarding career in retail.
“We believe that the investment in our bakery colleagues will enable them to continue to deliver the fantastic quality and high level of customer service our shoppers expect.”
Reflecting on the newly-secured City & Guilds accreditation today, Sainsbury’s Customer Service & Colleague Director Gwyn Burr echoed King’s comments and explained the relevance of the body’s backing.
“Sainsbury’s is absolutely committed to giving all of our colleagues the opportunity to develop and learn new skills despite the challenging climate,” she remarked.
“This accreditation from City & Guilds is in recognition of the high standards we have set at the colleges and we can already see how our customers are benefitting from improved service and quality from our newly trained counter colleagues.”