Published date 09th Sep 2021

Metro Mayor checks out apprentices’ skills at Bath supermarket

Metro Mayor Dan Norris at the counter in Morrisons

Metro Mayor Dan Norris ‘checked out’ the customer service skills of staff at Morrisons, Bath, this week and got a hands-on lesson in pizza-making.

Mr Norris, whose West of England responsibilities include jobs and skills, met some of the apprentices who work at the Morrisons York Road store which employs a total of 175 staff.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “It was great fun being shown how to make pizzas, though I’ve a long way to go before becoming an ‘aficiona-dough’.

“We all know the food supply chain is under severe pressure, and it was good to learn how apprenticeship schemes like the one run by Morrisons can offer solutions in the long-term.”

The Metro Mayor also learned more about how Morrisons led the way for UK retailers deciding to keep its supermarkets shut on Boxing Day to give its staff a two-day festive break. It was also the first supermarket group to guarantee pay of at least £10 an hour.

“All those working for West of England food stores have kept us fuelled through the pandemic. They’ve often worked long hours, under pressure at a very difficult time, away from their friends and families. It’s too easy for us all to take their hard work for granted. It’s good that Morrisons have taken some steps to recognise the great service their staff provide to communities across our region and beyond,” added Mr Norris.

The West of England Combined Authority and Western Training Provider Network (WTPN) have launched the Share to Support scheme, as part of the Workforce for the Future Programme, to help smaller businesses recover through funding new apprenticeships. To date some £485,000 has been pledged to the ‘Share to Support’ scheme. The money comes from apprentice-levy paying employers passing on their unused levy funds so that more apprenticeships can be created for local people.

On a national level, Morrisons has between 800 – 1,000 apprentices at any given time, working in stores (for example, craft apprentices such as butchery), manufacturing, in warehouses and in its head office.

Employers can pledge their unspent apprenticeship levy or find out how to get support with apprenticeships by visiting: www.wtpn.org.uk/apprenticeship-levy-transfer. If you are interested in finding out more, the Western Training Provider Network and Business West are running an event on 30 September on how your business can benefit from apprenticeship levy sharing. Sign up here: www.wtpn.org.uk/levy-share-event

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