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INSIGHTS: ENHANCING PEOPLE SKILLS AND TEAM EFFICIENCY AT CO-OP RETAIL

 

Co-op are one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, owned by millions of members. They are the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, with more than 2,500 local, convenience, and medium-sized stores. As well as employing nearly 70,000 people, Co-op are a recognised leader for social and community-led programmes. They exist to meet members’ needs and stand for values and causes they believe in.

 

Hart Learning and Development (HLD) have been working with Co-op Retail since 2017 on their line manager programmes, supporting the upskilling of their operational managers. The programmes focus on people skills alongside the development of skills and behaviours which allow managers to improve their team’s efficiency.

Co-op and HLD carefully scoped and planned the Apprenticeship programmes in collaboration, ensuring they met the specific needs of the business in developing their line managers by minimising the impact of operational barriers that busy retail environments can create.

 

Together, HLD and Co-op have collectively formed a strong approach of continuous reflection and improvement of the courses. For example, we have most recently strengthened our work to educate and support our Apprentices with managing their mental health, including recognising changes and coping mechanisms.

 

As of September 2021, we have worked with over 350 colleagues at Level 3 and Level 4, with achievements rates over 70% and learner satisfaction scores over 90%.

 

Joe Newman, a Team Leader apprentice with Co-op, described the course as “really beneficial.” They said: “I’ve learned and developed a lot over the last 18 months. Big thanks to my tutor for helping me get through it and pass with a Distinction.”

 

The partnership has prospered and grown over time. Through our work to understand the business and its challenges and priorities, we have introduced new programmes to support key populations. This includes a programme of English and maths development for a range of Co-op colleagues.

 

Rachael Snell, Apprenticeships Business Partner at Co-op, said: “Hart Learning and Development have been influential in working with us to create our apprenticeship programmes within our Food Retail Business. They are experts in their field and have been able to work with us to embed these programmes which are highly regarded by our apprentices and leadership teams throughout the business.

 

“It’s a pleasure working with the team of Tutors, Facilitators and Programme Managers who put our apprentices at the heart of everything they do.

 

“Hart has supported us in launching pre-apprenticeship functional skills programmes which are a key part of our social mobility strategy. We want apprenticeships to be inclusive for all colleagues and this is an area we have been working on together to help us address this need.

 

“I’d highly recommend Hart to others and as we look to grow and change in the future, we will be looking to continue working with Hart to develop other apprenticeship opportunities across other business areas across the Co-op Group.”

"I’d highly recommend Hart to others and as we look to grow and change in the future, we will be looking to continue working with Hart to develop other apprenticeship opportunities across other business areas across the Co-op Group."

Rachael Snell

Co-op