5/5/2009 10:55:00 AM
Phones 4u opens £1m training centre
Phones 4u boosted its £3m investment in staff last week with the opening of a state of the art, £1m training centre in Fort Dunlop, Birmingham.
The Fort Dunlop site (pictured) will replace the less modern Yarnfield centre, and provide a more ‘hands on’ learning experience. The retailer said it would spend a further £5m on staff in 2009.
The centre is sponsored by Samsung, BlackBerry and Nokia – with special areas allocated to each manufacturer – and will provide training for around 20-30 trainees per week.
All new recruits will now go through the training centre for a four-day induction course before hitting the shop floor. They will then be required to pass a probation period called ‘green by week 16’ – a 16- week trial on the shop floor in which staff must hit a sales target. Staff are then given the opportunity to go through further training.
Meanwhile, new retail measures such as ‘training hour’ have been introduced in stores, where staff are trained with a regular quiz to test their knowledge. In addition, a new sales sheet called SP5 evolution has been introduced that gives staff a more vigorous check list.
Phones 4u said it had already provided training for 3,068 staff, 1,604 of which have completed apprenticeships – and it has promised a further £5m investment in staff this year. The new centre will work in partnership with training provider Elmfield to offer NVQ level courses on numeracy and literacy.
Despite ventures into other retail areas such as Sky and Virgin – where trials are running in 60 stores – the retailer will work closely with partners with mobile remaining a priority.
Phones 4u’s operations manager, Tom Shorten, said: ‘I want everyone to get an NVQ level if they want it.’
He added: ‘The core is mobile – I want to be at the forefront of applications. It’s about the customer leaving the shop with a handset bespoke to themselves.’
Samsung's general manager, Derek Williamson, said: 'At Samsung we know that the effort we put into creating great products is wasted if the people on the front line can’t communicate its benefits clearly and in a compelling way.'
Nokia's managing director, Mark Loughran, said: 'When it comes to delivering a great customer experience, the staff working in high street stores are often seen as the face of our brand, promoting Nokia's products and services.'