CAVC celebrate partnership with supermarket giant Morrisons
Cardiff and Vale College have celebrated a unique partnership with retail chain Morrisons that gives experience, confidence and skills to young people formerly classed as NEET (not in education, employment or training).
The College currently runs three projects with Morrisons, the UK’s fourth-largest food retailer, partnering with disadvantaged young people on the award-winning Entry to Vocational Studies (EVS) course and a Level 2 Retail Knowledge course. The Entry to Vocational Studies course recently won an AoC Beacons Award for Overcoming Deprivation, sponsored by the Welsh Government.
Neil O’Doherty, Head of Retail HR Operations at Morrisons, said, “We are delighted to be working with the College and students on such a fantastic project. It’s a great opportunity to pass on our retail experience to the students and help them to get their careers off to a flying start. We believe Retail offers tremendous opportunities to build a career and at Morrisons we believe everyone has talent – the students we have been working with have shown us they have tremendous potential.”
The EVS course, which is unique in Cardiff, was designed to inspire disengaged young people and raise their aspirations and confidence levels so that they will progress onto further study or employment. Morrisons helps to inspire and build the confidence of the learners through two employability days. They are given training and get to meet managers and staff and see how the store operates.
The EVS students are then offered an eight week (one day a week) voluntary work programme. Two students undertook this programme from the 2010-11 cohort and have been offered part-time paid work as a result of the programme, alongside studying full-time at college.
The Retail Level 2 students attend placements with two Morrisons stores in Cardiff for one day a week for 15 weeks. They are given a comprehensive induction programme, meet all key staff and work in a variety of departments during the 15 weeks. Three students were employed from this programme in 2010 -11.
Andy Hunt, Store General Manager, said, “This aims to help young people and give them the break they need. We hope to keep this partnership going for as long as we can. It’s a great opportunity for the students and for Morrisons and it gives students an insight into the Retail industry. It is down to the individual if they would then like to pursue this as a career.”
Denise Olander, Head of Business and Professional Studies, said, “The partnership with Morrisons supermarkets is exclusive. Learners have a wonderful opportunity to gain experience of how a successful national food retailer operates and they get the opportunity to use the skills and knowledge developed within the classroom on the shop floor, under the close supervision of the Morrisons staff.
“The experience builds the learners confidence and self esteem and helps to prepare them for sustainable employment. Also, the store managers from Cardiff Bay, Ty Glas and Barry have been brilliant role models for the learners, as they have worked their way up through the organisation by showing commitment and hard work. All the Morrison’s staff have shown such high levels of compassion for the students.”
Thirteen young people benefitted from the Morrisons experience in 2010-11 and they have now successfully progressed to the next level course at the College or into employment.