JD Wetherspoon signs up to government skills initiative

01 September 2009 by
JD Wetherspoon signs up to government skills initiative

Pub group JD Wetherspoon has signed up to the government's skills pledge initiative to help improve the training and education of its 21,000 staff members.

The government initiative follows a report showing that UK workers lack basic skills and encourages companies to pledge to commit to train their staff to the equivalent of five GCSEs.

Wetherspoon's director of personnel and legal, Su Cacioppo said that staff members were being encouraged to undertake the training as part of their career progression with the company.

"We invest £1.5m annually in staff training and by signing up to the skills pledge, we will be able to offer our staff even greater opportunities to gain skills and qualifications while working.

"We are demonstrating support for our employees who wish to acquire basic literacy and numeracy skills by investing in an online e-learning system for them to use, with the added benefit of a personal tutor on hand to support them," she said.

Training company Edexcel is accrediting Wetherspoon's skills programme, which will take place in pubs over a six month period and also includes an apprenticeship in food and drink service for bar and kitchen staff across the pub estate.

"Many people working in the pub industry, including those who work for Wetherspoon, start their careers at 18, without gaining qualifications at school or college. We want to give them the opportunity to forge a great career at Wetherspoon and begin studying for qualifications from the onset," added Cacioppo.

Whitbread, McDonald's and Tesco are amongst the other food companies to sign up to the Government's skills pledge initiative.

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By Emma White

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