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In good company

Achieving the status of 'great employer' demands balancing employee expectations, leadership development and financial incentives. Liz Morrell (Retail Week) explores how retailers can get the right mix.

This article originally appeared in Retail Week magazine. Click the below link to read in full.

In good company

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Why retailers want to learn from hospitality

By Jane Sunley, Chief Executive

When I started learnpurple a little over ten years ago, with a background in hotel management,  contract catering and hospitality recruitment, it was a natural progression to want to transform some o

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Elephant in the room

By Trisha Proud, learnpurple associate

Few phrases evoke such perfect imagery as 'the elephant in the room'. In a logical sense it’s an idiom for an obvious truth that is being ignored or goes un-addressed. The expression

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The benefits of transparency

By Helen Flint - Development Director

You’ve carried out your appraisals, or, as we like to call them, reviews; spending time ensuring they are robust and provide achievable actions. So what do you do with the inf

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Does beauty matter?

The London Olympics are almost here, with thousands of people expected to visit the capital.These tourists, ranging from families to CEOs, will be staying in hotels, eating in restaurants and drinking in bars, placing hospitality in the spotlight. Staff in this sector will represent the UK. Image will be a key criterion, but is it time for employers to be more open-minded when recruiting? Should they place attitude, cultural fit and the ability to deliver excellent service above how an individual looks?

This article originally appeared in HR Magazine. To read in full click here.

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Helping young people into the workplace

This article originally featured in HR Magazine. To read in full click here.

Opinion:

As CEOs, I believe it is our responsibility to help young people into the workplace. Mike Sunley

In a climate where the rate of unemployed 16-24-year-old stands at 22%, I can’t help thinking that if, as the leaders of UK business, we all did our bit, we could pull together to significantly improve the outlook for Britain’s young talent. 

I don't want to enter into a rant about the education system; but I will say how disheartened I am when schools focus too heavily on grade bands and university applications and not enough on ensuring pupils have the essentials to succeed in the employment world: skills such as time management, decision-making, communication and empathy.

As a growing contract caterer, a key concern of ours was to develop a pipeline for chef talent. We sought a solution that would be sustainable for the long term, which would help encourage school-leavers into the workplace, offer them development and help us give something back to the community. Last September, the 'Lex School of Talent' was born.

Partnering with the University of West London, as well as hospitality charity Springboard UK, we designed a two-year apprenticeship programme. This offered four 16-year-olds access to the skills, knowledge and experience of our top chefs (many of whom have enjoyed Michelin-starred careers before joining us), as well as the opportunity to qualify in NVQ levels 1, 2 and 3. They join on a starting salary of £16,000, with all the benefits of a full-time employee, something we are very proud of. Compare this with the £15,000 salary of the 23-year-old son of a friend, who has worked in retail for seven years. Seven years from now, our apprentices could be earning many times that amount...

To read in full click here.

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