Bradford-based supermarket giant Morrisons has boosted its investment in local skills to £1 million after relaunching a second store as a craft skills academy.

The UK’s fourth largest supermarket has invested another £500,000 at its Enterprise Five Lane Ends store to develop its own butchers, bakers and fishmongers through an in-store apprenticeship scheme, which sees experienced staff passing on their knowledge to trainees.

The move follows similar investment at its Victoria store at Girlington in May.

It means that trainees at the Idle store will go through a 12-month bakery apprenticeship to gain an IPQ qualification. Bakery manager Carl Smith, who has more than 25 years’ experience, will help to pass on his knowledge and skills to a new apprentice.

He said: “A lot of the skills I use on a daily basis are the same as when I first started out.

"We do a lot of hand moulding which is the traditional way of making bread, mixed with more modern methods so you get the best of both worlds.

"The investment in the store has meant that we’ve opened up the counter and put the moulding table right at the front so customers can see us in action.”

The introduction of the craft skills academy has also seen 27 staff trained in food and wine matching so they can recommend combinations to customers, while the store’s craft skills specialists have increased the number of products they make from scratch.

Morrisons has also revamped the interior of the Bradford Road store, opening up the butchers’ and bakers’ counters so shoppers can see the specialists at work.

The new-look store also has new misting technology to keep fruit and vegetables fresher for longer, a new flower shop, pizza counter and wider choice of fruit and vegetables – including some more unusual lines like kohlrabi, white beetroot and purple potatoes.

Store manager Debbie Rawson said: “The transformation of the store is incredible. I think that the craft skills academy is a great way to encourage the uptake of traditional skills.

"We have more skilled craftsmen and women on our counters than any other supermarket and pride ourselves on the knowledge they can offer to customers.

“Everyone’s purse strings are stretched at the minute so it’s important for our specialists to help customers make the most of their weekly shop with advice on the best value cuts of meat or ideas on what to do with leftovers - we would encourage people to approach the counters and tap into their knowledge.”

A Morrisons spokesman said since the Victoria store revamp, more customers had been asking its butchers and bakers for advice.