Supply chain training
We’re committed to working with our suppliers to help them develop the necessary skills and competencies to meet our requirements by offering a range of training and development opportunities.
Our training programmes cover a range of topics and are delivered through a variety of formats including e-learning, presentations, workshops, global supplier conferences, practical assessments, webinars or case studies.
We have designed training programmes to educate suppliers about local laws, their rights at work, and our Global Sourcing Principles.
For example, in 2012 we developed and implemented a Fire Safety programme in our factories in Bangladesh with Worldwide Responsible Accreditation Production (WRAP). The programme is unique to M&S due to its fire champion module which takes workers right through from how fires start, the context and risks within the workplace, to how to effectively evacuate the workplace, the importance of safe practices and how they play a part in reducing the risk of fire in the workplace and their homes. Over 130,000 workers have received training through the M&S Fire Safety training programme and by December 2015, all of our garment factories had a worker fire champion in place.
We actively work with our suppliers on supporting workers in our supply chain on programmes including leadership skills, financial literacy and health.
For example, we decided to work with Emerging Leaders an NGO that provided leadership training to around
50,000 supply chain workers in Kenya, east Africa and South Africa, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The training takes participates on an incredible journey to a new mind-set and empowers them to take others on the same journey as leaders in their communities. Many tell us that the programme has led to improved productivity, better retention of high quality, motivated employees and less dependency on casual labour.
Another example is where we developed HealthWorks with Project Hope and the Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia (RHAC) to address simple root causes of absenteeism, and fatigue and increase health and nutritional awareness in 7 factories in Cambodia. We trained over 14,000 workers and upskilled the medical professionals on site to help improve employee health as well as workplace productivity.
Second International Human Rights Conference, Istanbul
In September 2018, we delivered our 2nd International Human Rights conference in Turkey. The conference aimed to provide information and practical tools for suppliers on addressing the complexities of human rights within business, as well as sharing experiences and insights from the wider business community. The agenda included speakers from Coca-Cola, The British Embassy, United Work and Nestle, covering topics from Syrian Refugees to supply chain mapping. 172 people attended and for the majority (76%) it was the first conference they had attended specifically dedicated to human rights.
First International Human Rights Conference, Delhi
At the end of January 2018, we held our first ever international human rights conference in Delhi, India with over 250 attendees from our retail partners, M&S international retail and sourcing offices as well as logistics, IT, facilities, Food and Clothing & Home suppliers. The conference was also attended by many of our collaborators too including Coca-Cola, BT, Ethical Trading Initiative, Freedom Fund, Ethical Tea Partnership, Traidcraft, Fairtrade, Unseen and representatives from Indian, UK and Australian Governments.
The conference aimed to provide information and practical tools for suppliers on addressing the complexities of human rights within business, as well as sharing experiences and insights from the wider business community. We also launched our M&S Forced Labour Toolkit for International Suppliers and Partners at the conference.
Human Rights and Modern Slavery Conference
In February 2017, we brought together 150 suppliers from our UK Property, Logistics, IT, Retail and Clothing and Home supply base for our flagship Modern Slavery and Human Rights Conference, held in London. This event set out to help improve our suppliers understanding and management of modern slavery risk in their operations and wider supply chain. External speakers included Unseen, Stronger Together, the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority and the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre.
We reminded suppliers that we require them to:
- Understand and work to meet our Global Sourcing Principles
- Comply with the Modern Slavery Act Reporting requirements if they are in scope
- Continue to engage with M&S on human rights and modern slavery
We continue to hold smaller supplier workshops throughout our supply chains to reinforce our policies and procedures and ensure they are maintaining processes to manage modern slavery risks.