Training and development

We want every Partner at every level of the business to be able to fulfil their potential at work, by taking on new challenges or developing a management career.
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Training to give the best customer service

We are leading the way in our approach to Partner development. Our commitment to lifelong learning and developing Partners' skills and knowledge is enshrined in Rule 56 of the Partnership’s Constitution. The Partnership currently spends 56% more than similar organisations on the creation and delivery of Partner development, which we believe is key to the success of the Partnership, not only to ensure Partners are reaching their full potential, but also to be able to respond to the changes we are seeing in the retail industry.

The learning journey of a Partner starts with a comprehensive induction programme, and continues during Partners careers through a range of vocational training opportunities, appraisals and access to a variety of learning resources. Customer service skills are our first priority because only through delivering excellent service can we maintain our position as a leading retailer. Partners receive regular feedback on performance, and are appraised formally each year against a framework of behaviours.

Promotion and career development

The Partnership wants to provide long-term satisfying careers for Partners. Training is one of our key areas of focus within the 4Ps: A Manifesto for change, Partners are encouraged to fulfil their potential by taking on new challenges or developing a career in management. To achieve this the Partnership:

  • promotes suitably qualified Partners into vacancies rather than recruiting newcomers
  • encourages changes of responsibility on a trial basis if necessary
  • helps Partners to learn as much as they can about the Partnership and our activities
  • provides knowledge and training to help Partners carry out their responsibilities better
  • encourages Partners general education and interests in fields not directly related to their work.

Management Training Schemes

Across the Partnership, high-calibre managers are crucial to maintaining our position as one of the UK's leading retailers.

Our managers come from a wide variety of backgrounds – school and college leavers, graduates, experienced retailers, career switchers and those returning to work after a break. We aim to have a training scheme that will suit everyone.

In September 2011 the Partnership was placed number 11 in the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers rankings, our best result ever. We were also voted the best graduate employer for opportunities within sales and retailing.

Apprenticeship programmes

The John Lewis apprenticeship programme features two levels; the Modern Apprenticeship Scheme, for those who have left school at the age of 16, and the Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme for young people who have already completed their A-Levels. Both are one year programmes and if completed successfully, apprentices on the Modern scheme will be rewarded the equivalent of five GCSEs and those on the Advanced scheme, the equivalent of two additional A-levels. Waitrose run a similar scheme.

The Waitrose apprenticeship scheme launched in Autumn 2012, to offer a career pathway from education to work for people with no or little work experience, as an alternative to traditional education.  At the end of the programme, apprentices are awarded an Intermediate Apprenticeship in Retail from Skillsmart, the Skills Sector Council for Retail.  To achieve this, they gain qualifications in three key areas - Technical, Knowledge and Key Skills - all of which are achieved by on the job training and learning and are accredited by the awarding body, City and Guilds.  As well as completing several qualifications, apprentices gain valuable workplace experience and practical skills that can be applied both in the retail sector and elsewhere.  Up to 200 placements are being offered in total across new and existing branches.