Marks & Spencer has teamed up with Decoded, a London based technology education provider to launch the world’s first retail data academy, according to a press release.
The programme is in line with the retail giant’s vision to become a ‘digital first retailer’.
Over one thousand employees from Marks & Spencer will enrol in the data fellowship programme, which is aimed at enhancing data analytics and technical skills.
Steve Rowe, chief executive at M&S called the initiative its “biggest digital investment” for employees.
“Transformation of our business is key to survival and a huge part of this lies with our colleagues. We need to change their digital behaviours, mindsets and our culture to make the business fit for the digital age and our partnership with Decoded will enable us to do this”, he added
Upgrading Digital Skills
The programme, funded by the UK Government’s Apprenticeship Lobby, will focus on getting employees up to date with state of the art technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Employees from various departments like store management, visual merchandising, finance and purchasing will participate in the programme.
The eighteen-month fellowship will also include a course on data analytics with tools like R and Python.
Kathryn Parsons, founder of Decoded is excited about this digital literacy programme with M&S .
She said, "This is a pioneering and inspiring commitment to lifelong learning and future-facing skills. Every leader in business today should take note. Education is the answer to the fourth industrial revolution.”
In June this year, M&S entered into a strategic partnership with Microsoft to research and test the opportunities for technology and AI within the retail environment.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.