Contractors working for Sainsbury’s will be encouraged to take on unemployed people under a new training programme launched by the supermarket giant, Building and Construction News reported. Sainsbury’s has lined up 60 construction suppliers to take on at least 100 unemployed individuals for a minimum one-year contract.
The trainees will work exclusively on Sainsbury's projects, Building reported, in entry-level roles. The supermarket's building programme over the next 12 months will include 17 new stores, 100 new convenience stores, and the redevelopment of around 20 sites.
The scheme is called Sainsbury's Supplier Trainee Partnerships, and will be delivered by construction, engineering, facilities management contractors that have an existing relationship with the supermarket. Its spokesman told Construction Manager that a further 10 suppliers have asked to be involved in the programme since it was announced.
One of the firms involved is Surrey-based Longcross. Its operations director, Chris Miles, told Building: “This is a great opportunity for us to work with one of our key clients and jointly deliver something that will truly differentiate those who complete the programme. The training plans look terrific and will set a benchmark in the retail construction sector for all to aspire to.”
Neil Sachdev, commercial director of Sainsbury's, said: “This is a groundbreaking initiative and we hope that other companies will follow our lead in getting the country working as well as providing meaningful opportunities for unemployed people.”
According to the company, candidates will “enjoy constant support from Sainsbury's and the suppliers whilst regular assessments will ensure that all the participants make real progress. The trainees will receive hands-on experience and be exposed to a range of new skills.”
The first candidates are expected to start on site in July.