Tesco workers in the South Wales Valleys, who put new skills on their shopping list for 2013, are now reaping the rewards, thanks to a productive partnership between the supermarket and Coleg y Cymoedd.
The scheme is helping staff in Tescoâ€™s Ystrad Mynach, Maesteg and Aberdare superstores to sharpen their maths, communications and computer skills in order to get on in work and in life.
And the store is so impressed with the results that they want to extend the scheme to stores in neighbouring valleys and eventually right across South Wales.
Coleg y Cymoedd tutors have been visiting the three stores regularly to deliver valuable learning sessions under the Welsh Government and European Financed Essential Skills in the Workplace (ESiW) programme.
Courses are tailored to the needs of individual workers and lead to nationally recognised Essential Skills Wales (ESW) qualifications. The workplace-based training aims to give participants new transferable skills and confidence in order to take on more responsibility at work.
David Francis, Director of Finance at Coleg y Cymoedd, said: â€œTesco is demonstrating a real commitment to its employees. We are delighted to be working with major companies like this who share our goals to provide lifelong learning opportunities for every member of our community. It is rewarding to hear the excellent feedback our teachers have received from those who have embraced this training to develop their personal skill sets alongside friends and colleagues.
Participating staff have been keen to explain how their confidence and self-esteem have benefited for the training.
One of them, Kath Ward, from Tescoâ€™s Ystrad Mynach superstore, used the opportunity to brush up on her maths and ICT skills.
She said: â€œThe course was hard in places as I did not know that much about computers. It also taught me that I needed a re-fresher for the maths I learnt in school. Iâ€™m very glad I completed it and am looking forward to the next one.â€
Mike Casey, store director for Tesco superstores Wales, said: â€œOur partnership with Coleg y Cymoedd has already proven highly successful.
â€œThe feedback from our participating team members has been phenomenal and we are keen to expand our partnership with the college to allow employees from our Caerphilly and Ebbw Vale stores the opportunity to develop their skills. In time I hope that our success with the college will lead to us providing ESiW opportunities to all our stores across south Wales.â€
Rhondda Cynon Taff