In a tough time for the economy in Ireland and the UK, we are still — and always will be — putting money into improving staff skills. Increasingly governments are also seeing the benefits of initiatives that build a better workforce. When we and they get together with the same intention in mind the combined impact on skills improvement is even greater.
Which is why we got involved with the Northern Ireland Government funded programme, ApprenticeshipsNI. But it wasn’t just a case of picking candidates and sitting back. We took a proactive approach to the programme to ensure it would be good for us, our staff and the overall aims of ApprenticeshipsNI.
And the training was very relevant to our concerns, focusing as it did largely on developing skills in a work-based environment. It’s obviously important in a tough retail environment to present highly professional, personal and knowledgeable staff to the public and suppliers. And it benefits the economy as a whole. But whatever the economic climate staff excellence is one of our USPs and enhancing staff skills remains a primary focus.