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Wilko is shortlisted for British Quality Foundation (BQF) Collaboration Award alongside training provider Capella for its apprenticeship scheme

Wilko is incredibly proud of its hard-working team members and everything they do to provide simple solutions that help families get their day-to-day lives sorted as quickly, easily and affordably as possible – leaving them free to be the best they can be.

Transforming itself into a product-led business wilko is building a team with the leadership, skills and experience to put product at the front and centre of everything it does. One of the first companies to offer the new Improvement apprenticeships to its team members wilko has been shortlisted for the British Quality Foundation (BQF) Collaboration Award for the work that’s been done with training provider Capella.

The business has developed its apprenticeship programmes and has seen unprecedented success with over 400 team members keen to sign up. Training provider partners include Lifetime Training, System Group and Kaplan and, wilko has introduced opportunities across head office, distribution and its nationwide network of retail stores.

The appeal of apprenticeship training comes from the simple fact that everyone can do an apprenticeship, from those early in their career to those who’ve been part of the wilko family for decades.

This was also the case across different wilko job roles, as Teresa Ward, wilko talent programme manager discovered;

“We wanted this programme to be inclusive and allow all team members the chance to apply for an apprenticeship if they wanted to develop their skills and were eligible. We are proud that we now have apprenticeships available in head office, our distribution c­entres and across our nationwide stores.”

The programme focusses largely on providing clear and achievable career development, to encourage team members to drive their own ambition with the investment and training needed to be better every day. Wilko offers programmes to their existing team from level 2 all the way up to level 7 MBA Leadership programmes. Currently there are over 300 team members on the programme – the youngest (17) and eldest (59) are both on the same programme showcasing how learning doesn’t have to stop or start at a certain age.

Wilko is offering over 20 different apprenticeship programmes across many levels of roles and functions. This cross-functional investment has been met with real praise from Helen Bliss the head of group operating model at wilko and her team who can already see the positive impact such opportunities can have on the whole company.

“The main thing we’re trying to get apprentices to do is create a culture of being better every day at wilko. A key part of our strategy is about improving our processes and the training delivered through apprenticeships will support the business to do this."

The wilko team can join the career journey at the stage that is right for them, whether that’s to support them to be the best they can be in their role or to learn essential management and leadership skills to accelerate their career prospects.

Raymond, Blackburn wilko store manager said; 

“The apprenticeships have provided a clear template to track and see my teams’ progression. The enthusiasm the apprentices have is infectious; they live and breathe the wilko values which has really helped build a closer team.”

Jayne, wilko Poole store manager, comments;

“The apprenticeship scheme has been fantastically well received in store and we have three team members enrolled on Retail Team Leader Level 3. The learning is self-led and requires the candidates to drive their own progress. The Lifetime trainer is in touch with the retail world and, as a previous store manager herself, understands the ask of our supervisors daily, the coaching is at an incredibly high level.”

Partnering with Lifetime Training, wilko launched their Retail apprenticeship programmes in August 2018, passionate that they would offer their team the opportunity to gain nationally recognised apprenticeship training. This was no surprise to Lifetime, as the opportunities presented through apprenticeship training fit perfectly with wilko’s ongoing commitment to team member happiness: great training, career development, real job satisfaction and the chance to go far with a growing business.


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