Tesco and John Lewis promote part-time worker progression with new scheme

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Major retailers including Tesco and John Lewis have signed up to a new scheme promoting career progression for part-time staff.

The new Retail Pioneer Programme, which will last 12 months, will work to enable part-time employees to progress in their careers, hoping to identify barriers to progression into management and how to overcome them.

Run by Timewise, the five retailers who have signed up to the scheme have a combined workforce of 455,000. B&Q, Dixons Carphone and Cook have signed up to the scheme alongside Tesco and John Lewis.

Research conducted by Timewise found that 65 per cent of part-time workers want to progress, but trapped due to the need for flexibility not lack of skills.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has joined forces with Timewise to spread the word of the programme and promote it among retailers. It coincides with the lobby groups “Retail 2020” programme which hopes to tackle the productivity gap and declining job numbers.

“As the largest private sector employer in the UK with three million people working across retail and wholesale, the pay and progression of our staff is incredibly important to us,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.

“Our Retail 2020 research revealed that flexibility is the second most important reason to work in retail, but in some cases this is a trade-off which may hold some people back from fulfilling their potential or optimising their pay.

“It is important that these part-time workers are able to progress within organisations when they choose to and we‘re delighted to be part of the Retail Pioneer Programme, to support retailers with the task of delivering these opportunities in flexible ways.

“Such collaboration is important to ensure retail remains an attractive industry to work and grow in.”