Progression pathways in the retail and hospitality industries

The ‘UK Futures Programme: Progression and pathways in hospitality and retail competition brief’ is the original competition brief to which these projects responded.


These projects have concluded. Links to evaluation reports on the projects are below.

Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall

Building on high quality working practices that encourage staff to work and develop across different roles and skillsets to improve business performance, they are developing a tool kit which enables other small businesses to take similar approaches.

Living Wage Foundation

Building on Prof. Zeynep Ton’s ‘The Good Jobs Strategy’, the project aims to radically alter HR approaches and business practice. For example, the theory says that by changing product ranges and logistics practices, staff can become more adept at operating with the company’s range, spend less time shelf-stacking and more time selling.

National Coastal Tourism Academy

Testing the ‘service-profit’ chain principle that says that high quality customer service that arises from better workplace practices leads to improved business performance and higher pay. A designated project manager will work with hotels across the area to improve the way in which new staff are inducted, trained and managed.

People 1st

Developing and testing different models to progress staff members. For example, the use of analysis tools, behavioural and career coaching and multi-skilling of roles to assess and develop the aptitude and skills of the workforce to identify where people, especially apprentices, have potential to progress.


Setting up an on-site skills academy that retailers can access, and offering employees individual training plans and mentoring that enhance their understanding of the retail sector. In parallel, several high profile retailers are collaborating to define how talented people can progress and develop a career in the retail sector.

Rocco Forte Hotels

Developing a new app where employees can access a career map showing all the possible routes and training materials needed to progress in their careers. They can also set career goals, access relevant training content and receive job advice from career coaches 24 hours a day.

Timewise Foundation

Working with the UK’s largest pet retailer, Pets at Home, this project will radically redesign jobs with the aim of providing clearer routes and opportunities for promotion for part-time and flexible working colleagues, particularly women. One key change will be to offer more family friendly flexible roles at a managerial level for workers to progress into.

You can read more about the successful projects in our Progression pathways press release.

What Works

Details of the projects, including links to toolkits and other helpful material for businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors, are provided in the brochure.

The independent evaluation report draws out findings and lessons from this Productivity Challenge, including key messages for employers and employees in the sectors and policy makers concerned with low pay.

Other Productivity Challenges

Our introduction page provides information on the other Productivity Challenges.

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