A HATFIELD health store manager has become one of the first people in the country to gain an “A-level” in customer service.
Suzanne Harris, who works at Holland & Barret in the Galleria is now “qualified to advise” on a number of health related matters including migraines, joint pain, cholesterol and circulation.
That’s because she’s completed Holland & Barrett’s new national training scheme, which offers vocational courses to staff across its 700 UK branches.
The Holland & Barrett Natural Health Academy is a £13m initiative which provides workers with the chance to gain up to a Level 3 QCF Award – the equivalent to an A-level.
The company claims it is the first recognised training scheme covering health on the high street, and is due to be recognised by the Education Development International.
It is hoped around 3,200 Holland & Barret workers will be awarded qualifications for the six, 18 or 36 week training programmes they have completed over the next five years.
“Being given the opportunity to become ‘qualified to advise’ and gain the equivalent to an A-level on the high street has been a real morale boost for me and the team, particularly as some members of staff left school or college without any qualifications,” said Suzanne, 25.
“I left school at 16 and progressed to college but left after six months as it wasn’t for me.
“Since working at Holland & Barrett I feel I have really flourished with the training opportunities offered to me.
“I can see how beneficial it is to our customers for staff to have this wealth of information about our products which is why I wanted to complete the training programmes as quickly as possible.
“The training is very comprehensive and has helped me enormously in being able ensure our customers are given the best service and advice possible to help them meet their health, well-being or fitness goals.”
She added: “It’s really nice knowing that a customer has come into the store and you have been able to help them, so they have gone away satisfied that you have suggested the right product for their needs.”