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Working with the team at People 1st helped UK supermarket chain, Iceland, get to grips with the new retail apprenticeship standards and adapt its existing training to create two new apprenticeship programmes for its supervisors and managers.

The issue

Iceland employs around 23,000 staff across 800+ locations throughout the UK, and has claimed the no.1 spot in the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work for List twice and is the only company to be listed consecutively for over 10 years. 

With the government introducing new, employer-led apprenticeship standards in 2017, Iceland’s HR team needed to adapt its current training programmes to make sure they met the new criteria, and sought People 1st’s help to do this and to secure the right apprenticeship provider.

The solution

We hosted a number of strategy workshops with key members of the Iceland team to identify how their current in-house training could be used to meet the requirements of two of the new apprenticeship standards – Retail Team Leader and Retail Manager.

Through this process, we mapped the training to both standards, which allowed the Iceland team to clearly see which aspects of the apprenticeship they could meet through internal training, and what training would need to be outsourced to an external learning provider.

One other challenge the Iceland team faced was that their programmes needed to work for both internal and external candidates. We helped them overcome this by designing their programmes with multiple entry-points, which gave new starters time to become familiar with the business before starting the rest of their programme on the same timetable as existing workers.

The impact

Iceland now has two brand-new apprenticeship programmes that meet the requirements of the new retail apprenticeship standards, which it aims to start delivering from September 2017.

Thanks to the mapping process, the company has also been able to use its existing training to cover up to 60% of the apprenticeship requirements. This means that it will only need to outsource the remaining 40%, allowing it to target its budget and get the best return on investment from its levy payments.


What the client says:

“Working with People 1st made the whole process of creating our new apprenticeship programmes so much simpler than if we had tried to do it alone. Their expertise and guidance was invaluable throughout, and we are thrilled with the end result. I have no doubt that these new programmes will help our apprentices on the way towards long and rewarding careers with Iceland.”

Helen Tindle, People Director, Iceland Foods