MediaCityUK and the surrounding Salford Quays is fortunate to house some of the biggest and best companies from across the UK, many with global reputations. None are better known than retail giant Marks and Spencer.
Founded in 1884 in the North of England, the organisation is now recognised across the globe for its clothing, home and food products. Though its headquarters are based in the City of London, Marks and Spencer have specialist business centres across the UK, housing many of their key functions. It is the National Human Resource Business Centre (People Services) that is based in the Quays, employing over 200 people to provide the company with the best possible services. Nicola Ferraby, Head of Colleague Services, describes the location as a “fantastic place to work” with “talented and brilliant colleagues that provide an incredible service across the Marks and Spencer organisation”.
Nicola and her colleagues in Salford have recognised apprenticeships as being a way of supporting talent development, and Apprenticeships at Salford City College are delighted to have been appointed as their apprenticeship provider. Nicola said: “Continued development of colleagues is critical to the success of the business. This includes both new recruits and current staff seeking to grow within the organisation. We can support current colleagues with skills and knowledge development training which we are doing with our Team Leader Development Programme which Ian Smith and Dawn Navarro are currently completing.”
Dawn Navarro, one of the apprentices completing the programme, said: “I feel I’m benefitting from my apprenticeship as I’m finding it interesting learning new techniques and tools to use within my team to help bring them out of themselves and make us all better as a team.” Ian Smith added: “I’m enjoying building on skills I already have and developing new ways of working to bring out the best of my team and myself, so we can do our utmost for the business.”
Nicola continued: “We can also recruit new people into our business and provide them with a structured and well-developed growth programme, as we have done with Olivia Johnson and Megan Jewel Ross who are employed in a customer service capacity. Both are from the local community and we are delighted to have them on board.”
Karen Kenny, Apprenticeship Delivery Leader for Apprenticeships at Salford City College said: “From early discussions, it was very clear that Nicola and the team were seeking to invest in apprenticeship provision for all the right reasons. We have worked hard together to ensure the apprenticeship programmes fit the values of the company and we look forward to working with them over a long period of time to help them achieve their goals.” The company, along with Apprenticeships at Salford City College and Salford City Council have shown their determination to provide opportunities for local people, specifically the immediate community around Salford Quays. To achieve this, a partnership with the local school Oasis Academy has been established with the view to recruit a cohort of student leavers annually.
If you are an employer wondering how you can utilise your apprenticeship levy, or perhaps you are thinking of an apprenticeship yourself, give the Apprenticeships at Salford City College Team a call on 0161 631 5555.