The chance to earn a range of NVQ qualifications and management training at one of the country’s top business schools lies at the heart of a radical overhaul of Starbucks recruitment and training in the UK. The strategy will see the company favour applicants who want to volunteer in the community and aims to improve customer service by increasing investment in skills and cutting staff turnover.

The multi-million pound initiative builds on Starbucks long-standing emphasis on employees – who are known as “partners” because they have a stake in the company’s success through “Bean Stock” share options.

The new skills and training strategy includes the chance to earn NVQ qualifications ,Management training, funding for personal development and “Best Barista” recruitment , where Store Managers will be trained to recruit baristas who share Starbucks commitment to community work and volunteering.

Darcy Willson-Rymer, managing director Starbucks UK & Ireland explains: “Starbucks was set up to be a different kind of company, which puts its employees at the heart of the business and allows them to share in its success. When we were devising our new strategy, we asked our partners what mattered to them and they told us loud and clear that they wanted the opportunity to build a career at Starbucks and gain transferable skills. It’s good news for our customers who want to see familiar faces, but it’s also the right thing to do at a time when coffee shops are providing so many jobs.”

Simon Tarr, chief operating officer at sector skills council People 1st, said: “Enlightened employers like Starbucks are leading the way in giving their partners the opportunity to develop the skills that will not only support progression within the company but will give them a strong foundation for future learning and long-term career development. Businesses that continually invest in developing their teams reap the benefits from a motivated workforce and happy customers.”

Skills Minister, John Hayes, MP, said: “Work based learning and training is vitally important in ensuring that we achieve a highly skilled and competent workforce. This is why our current skills consultation is looking to develop a truly lifelong approach to learning, nurturing sustainable economic growth and social renewal. This Government believes that work based training is a key component to up skilling the workforce and we are committed to working with firms of all types and sizes, such as Starbucks, to help them play their part in improving the employment prospects of young people and help us deliver more high level training places.”