Kingfisher announces new colleague learning target

Kingfisher, the international home improvement retailer, has announced a new target for 20,000 colleagues to have completed an apprenticeship, traineeship or formal qualification by 2030.

The announcement comes after Kingfisher exceeded its current learning ambition two years early, with colleagues completing over 6.6 million skills for life learning hours since 2019/20, ahead of its target of five million hours by 2025.

The new ambition builds on Kingfisher’s longstanding commitment to investing in skills, training and development for its people, supporting every colleague to reach their potential.

The target is designed to reflect an even greater focus on helping colleagues to grow their careers through high-quality learning programmes with a deep individual impact. This includes schemes offering inclusive opportunities for young people to begin their careers with Kingfisher and its banners.

To achieve the new target, Kingfisher will continue to invest in a wide range of programmes across its business and banners. Last year, over 4,000 colleagues took part in an apprenticeship or traineeship, with courses covering a variety of specialisms, from retail management to software engineering and finance.

Many of the programmes completed by colleagues directly support their career progression within the organisation. For example, at Screwfix 80% of store colleagues completing Level 2, 3 and 4 apprenticeships go on to become Trade Supervisors, Assistant or Branch Managers.

Similarly, Brico Dépôt France has created three tailor-made courses to support the development of its managers, with over 1,000 colleagues currently enrolled.

B&Q also offer a variety of over 40 apprenticeship courses, with over 1800 colleagues having completed or actively learning through an apprenticeship, including Trade Supplier Level 2, Women in Leadership Level 3 and 5 and Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Practitioner Level 4.

Kate Seljeflot, Chief People Officer, said: “We strongly believe in supporting all our colleagues to develop their skills and reach their full potential. Investing in talent and building our skills base, particularly in growing priorities like digital and data, will be critical to our future success. Our new target underlines our Group-wide commitment to empowering our colleagues with new skills, developing future talent and creating inclusive opportunities for young people to enter the workplace.”

Kingfisher will update on progress towards the target as part of its wider Responsible Business reporting this summer. People are a key focus of Kingfisher’s Responsible Business strategy, which includes a commitment to become a more inclusive company by breaking down barriers to employment and career progression.

Screwfix is helping to elevate some of these challenges through its recent launch of ‘Trade Link’, which is an online hub that provides support to tradespeople to recruit the next generation of talent. Trade Link will help to fill the gap identified by Kingfisher’s recent research which revealed that a national shortage of more than 250,000 qualified tradespeople will cost the UK £98bn in missed economic growth by 2030. Screwfix also champion the trade through its annual Top Trade Apprentice competition, launching for the 10th consecutive year, which emphasises the positive impact apprentices make to businesses and the wider economy. 

B&Q is supporting the trade sector with its pledge of £1 million to fund trade apprentices through transfer to transform. So far, over 59 apprentices, across 45 businesses, have been fully funded by B&Q supporting a variety of trades including Carpentry, Scaffolding, Painting and Decorating, and Women in Leadership within Engineering.

Alongside a focus on learning and developing talent, Kingfisher has a commitment to improving its gender balance to 35% women in senior leadership and 40% women in management by 2025/26.