Staff from Sainsbury's who have completed computing qualifications to help them work more efficiently have been presented with certificates for their achievements.

The six staff from the branch at Lombardy Retail Park, off Coldharbour Lane, Hayes, all did the Information Technology Qualification (ITQ) Level 2 through Uxbridge College. Store Manager Andy Dalitis presented the certificates on 26 June at the branch.

The qualification is based on the format of a National Vocational Qualification, which means new skills are taught around real tasks from the workplace. Sainsbury's training was funded by the Government's Train to Gain scheme, which provides free courses at Level 2.

Uxbridge College is one of the first training providers in the country to have achieved the Training Quality Standard kitemark for employer training.

Staff are now using their new skills in areas including the administration of customer service and staff training, and say it has boosted their efficiency and confidence.

Elayne Piwowar, Store Trainer at Sainsbury's in Hayes, said: "For anyone who is considering doing this qualification, I would say: go for it. Now we have these skills, we don't have to rely on asking managers how to do tasks such as spreadsheets - that releases their time as well as ours. There are all kinds of things that six months ago I would have said 'no way, I can't do that' but now we all have so much more confidence."

Christine Blanshard, Personnel & Training Manager at Sainsbury's in Hayes, said: "From my point of view it's given everyone some great training and increased confidence levels. Not everyone's used to dealing with technology on a day-to-day basis, so to have this opportunity to improve skills has been invaluable.

"We use a lot of Microsoft packages, and some of Sainsbury's systems are Excel-based so having those skills can make a huge difference.

"I think it's been a great partnership and I would very much encourage other employers to take the opportunity if they can. Everyone here enjoyed doing the qualification too.

"It benefits the individual and it benefits the company - it's a two way process. We know people have got the confidence to come and do it.

Lorraine Collins, Director - Business Development at Uxbridge College, said: "These learners are a real inspiration - with their great motivation it is no surprise they have all been successful. Uxbridge College provides business training to more than 500 employers and it is terrific when we get positive feedback like that we have had from both staff and managers at Sainsbury's."

* For more information about free and subsidised training for business at Uxbridge College call 01895 853605, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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