Page 4: Off-the-job training
As the name suggests, off-the-job training is provided away from the immediate workplace. This might be at a specialist training centre or at a college or at a company’s own premises. This type of training can be particularly useful for developing transferable skills that can be used in many different parts of the business. It may be used, for example, to train employees in the use of new equipment and new methods or to bring them up to date with changes in the law. Typical off-the-job training courses offered to employees by Aldi include:
- recruitment, interviewing and selection
- employment law
- influencing skills
- performance reviews (appraisals)
- Aldi Management System (how to develop and performance manage people).
For each aspect of training Aldi decides whether on-the-job or off-the-job training is the better option. Off-the-job training may involve extra costs, such as payments to training organisations. It also means that staff taking training courses are not at work, so their jobs have to be covered by others. This can lead to an increase in payroll costs. However, balanced against these costs are the gains that Aldi makes from off-the-job training. These include the benefits of having more motivated staff, greater staff productivity and employees with better skills and the ability to provide improved customer service.
Aldi's apprenticeship scheme
Aldi provides training opportunities for young people. The Aldi apprentice scheme combines on-the-job and off-the-job training. Apprenticeships are open to 16-18 year olds. Apprentices training as store assistants also study for an NVQ in Retail Apprenticeship. They complete store assistant training and gain an NVQ Level 2 in their first year. They then take a store management training programme over two years and work for a Level 3 advanced qualification.
The variety seems to suit apprentices. As Sam, an Aldi apprentice says:
‘The fast pace of the role is really exciting, with lots of chances to learn new and useful skills. As well as the on-the-job training, there is also studying towards a recognised qualification that I can fit around work.’
Emily, another apprentice, recognises that the programme is a good opportunity:
'After attending college I was looking for an opportunity that would allow me to use my customer service skills and the Aldi apprenticeship has given me just that. There is a lot of competition for places, so you really need to want to succeed. I really feel part of the store team. It can be challenging but it is well worth it.’
At the end of their apprenticeships, Sam and Emily will have the knowledge and skills to take on deputy manager or assistant store manager positions. From there each can rise to become a Store Manager in the business. Aldi’s current growth means that there are many opportunities for promotion, so Sam and Emily could soon join the many others who have been promoted within the business.