Farmers boost skills with CCB

Staff from the Penzance branch of Cornwall Farmers

Cornwall Farmers staff members in Wadebridge and Penzance have become the first group to complete the company’s bespoke training programme.

In February last year, the entire retail division of 170 staff embarked on the Acorn Professional Development Programme. The bespoke programme was designed by Cornwall College Business (CCB) to meet the needs of Cornwall Farmers.

The training involves an investment in excess of £350k over 18 months and is funded by the Train to Gain programme, Cornwall Retail Skills and core funding from the Learning and Skills Council.

The first group of 20 employees received their Acorn Certificates recently at presentation ceremonies at Cornwall Farmers stores.

Julie Russell, branch manager at Wadebridge, said: “It was a very valuable experience for all staff. Some programme participants never had a qualification in their life. This was quite a confidence booster for them!”

Penzance counterpart Karen Gendall added: “The programme has helped the store by bringing everyone up to the same level so there’s a continuity of customer service.”

The programme aims to improve the business’ customer service, customer satisfaction, staff turnover and customer loyalty, and has already made a significant impact. There has been an 8% increase in sales, a 25% decrease in staff turnover and, at the end of last year, 95% of customers surveyed rated the quality of service as either good or excellent.