Princes Limited, winner of the 2021 Food Management Today Best Training Initiative Award, says it has seen a huge uptake among colleagues of its innovative online learning and development platform.

Since launching Pathways globally in March this year, the platform has been visited more than 25,000 times by colleagues – many on multiple occasions.

Over 2,000 colleagues have already used the platform and the company recently exceeded the 5,000 mark for course enrolments.

The launch of Pathways is the culmination of five years of work – but was significantly speeded up as a result of the pandemic.

The HR team at Princes had been gradually giving colleagues a more blended approach of classroom and online learning and development opportunities.

But after the UK Government’s ‘work from home’ instruction in March last year, the company accelerated the launch of its Pathways platform.

In April 2020, it began running training online using ‘LoopUp’ and then, in October 2020, purchased the Learning Management System LMS365.

Alongside this, the HR team introduced an initiative called ‘Daily Development’, daily emails giving learners a daily article to read or video to watch related to the challenges they were facing such as working from home or working online.

In March Pathways was launched across the business and is now seeing over 5,200 visits a month and growing.

Joe Dent, Princes’ chief people officer, said: “We chose the name Pathways as each colleague is on their own pathway at Princes – some wishing to build a career and some with a focus on being really good at their role.

“Each colleague drives their own Pathway and our responsibility is to create a learning approach which is flexible for all our colleagues. One of the most impressive results has been the desire among colleagues to take ownership of their learning and development.

“Within the first two weeks, over 700 colleagues had visited the platform and this has since snowballed to more than 2,000 users.”

Princes has also introduced several other L&D initiatives including:

  • Development Pathway – pathways of development for those wishing to become a manager right through to board level.  
  • A fresh approach to compliance training using new e-learning tools.
  • Pathways Fastrack – Professional Development programmes aimed at colleagues who want to gain professional qualifications.
  • A new approach to Princes’ Apprenticeship programmes at sites seeking to improve the journey for apprentices and their line managers.
  • An innovative new approach to Princes’ Commercial Graduate Programme which will now include a professional qualification.

Joe Dent added: “While we have achieved a lot in a short space of time, we are committed to continuing to drive change to the benefit of colleagues across the Princes Group. 

“We look forward to continuing to evolve our Pathways platform and its integral role in Princes’ mission to become an Employer of Choice.”