Hudsons Coffee training programs give franchisees a recruitment edge

By Sarah Stowe | 24 Jan 2022 View comments

Hudsons Coffee training programs are delivering franchisees an edge in staff recruitment, with store owners able to offer Certificates III and IV, and diploma courses to their employees.

The nationally recognised training program introduced in 2020 has proven to be a winning proposition when it comes to recruiting staff.

Hudsons GM Jarrod Montigue, who set up the program with the Institute of Training and Further Education (ITFE), tells Inside Franchise Business Executive “It has helped as a point of difference in the marketplace for our franchisees to offer fully qualified training programs. Franchisee feedback is that it is retaining talent and helping foster employee growth.”

The training provides qualifications in subjects such as hospitality, business, business and customer engagement, and leadership and management.

“It’s all about retaining top talent in the business. To grow and thrive you have to develop your own talent,” Montigue says. “It is paramount that employers do whatever they can to hang on to staff. We’re now advertising the courses as a feature. For businesses valuing growth and development, this is a no brainer.”

Since introducing the formal qualifications there’s been strong take-up on the corporate side with more than 50 employees signing up and 50 per cent of the franchisees nominating staff for the courses.

Montigue worked for a year to deliver a program that met particular criteria including the need for all training to be conducted during work hours.

“All franchisees have to do is devote one hour a week to training. The majority is done online but we have our own dedicated trainer who comes to stores to do assessments every month.”

There is also minimal cost to the franchisees as ITFE secured national funding and subsidies; the Federal Government’s Job Trainer scheme introduced to encourage job creation has helped the initiative.

“This is where this program came into its own,” says Montigue.

Employers are paid up to $7000 per quarter per employee as a government wage subsidy.

While Montigue was keen to bring formal qualified programs back into the business, it was crucial that certain criteria be met: an understanding of  franchising, a seamless sign up, inhouse training, a dedicated account manager and national funding. 

“It took  me about 12 months to deliver. I have to credit Sheridan [Kilner, national business development manager] from ITFE for partnering with us.”

Montigue heads up the Australian franchise network of 31 stores which now sit alongside Jamaica Blue and Muffin Break at the Foodco group after Emirates Leisure Retail Australia divested the stores to focus on international growth for the Hudsons brand. ELRA retains ownership of the brand, and will continue to operate about 20 stores in Australia as corporate outlets.

Twenty nine of the 31 stores in the Foodco group are hospital sites and the two long term objectives are to grow the hospital portfolio and then to bring the chain into the Jamaica Blue network.

Foodco has already embraced the training program more broadly across its business, Montigue reports.