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Morrisons offers training for the homeless


The Morrisons supermarket chain is to give 10% of the 10,000 new jobs it creates by opening a raft of new stores to homeless and other vulnerable people.
The UK's fourth largest retailer, which is running the initiative in partnership with the Salvation Army and social enterprise Create, aims to train homeless staff in traditional food skills by offering them apprenticeships or the opportunity to study for basic retailing qualifications.
Norman Pickavance, group HR director for the Bradford-based company, said: "This initiative will help disadvantaged people to get their lives back on track. We look forward to taking this approach nationally and we would encourage other British businesses to join us in this initiative."
Morrisons' management believed that "by investing in individuals from all backgrounds and experiences, including those who need a hand-up rather than a hand-out, it can gain the most loyal and hard-working employees", he added.
The first five people trained under a pilot scheme at Morrisons' pre-employment academy start their first day at work today in a new store in Harehills in Leeds. The chain will provide new personnel with three months of classroom and on-the-job training, which leads to a Qualifications and Credit Framework Level 1 qualification at the end. They then have the option to undertake a Level 2 qualification or take up an apprenticeship as a butcher, baker or fishmonger.
Morrisons claims to operate the largest supermarket apprenticeship scheme in the UK and intends to train 10,000 staff with basic qualifications in everything from shop floor work to cleaning during 2011.
Last month, it said it planned to fund 20 undergraduates through a salaried three-year degree course in food manufacturing at Bradford University.
Baroness Warsi, joint chair of the Conservative Party, said: "This is a great example of businesses working with the community to create jobs. Initiatives like this will make a real difference to people's lives, providing them and the country with the skills they need to promote growth."

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