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Deliveroo launches career support for delivery workers

Deliveroo will invest £2.5 million into developing riders' vocational skills, with 15,000 given the opportunity to undertake qualification in different industries.

The announcement comes after Deliveroo’s partnership with trade union GMB last year, which certified Deliveroo delivery workers as self-employed and provided them with a union to assure collective bargaining and consultation rights for riders. 

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On completing the course, riders will be given digital certificates they can use to demonstrate their interest in the sector, as well as information on businesses that are actively recruiting in the industry. 

As part of this initiative, Deliveroo will be fully funding vocational training programmes for 25 riders to enter the railway industry, with guaranteed job offers at the end of the programme. 

Ian Luxford, learning and engagement specialist at internal communications firm The Motivation Agency, said the results of this initiative will provide useful insights for other organisations that want to invest in their employees. 

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: “This initiative is definitely one to watch. This type of approach can be very sustainable for the learners, in this case, the riders. It will support the riders on their first steps toward reskilling, giving them valuable knowledge and skills to help them plan and take ownership of their career development.” 

He praised Deliveroo on listening to the needs of its employees. In a consultation with riders last year, 71% said access to educational tools or courses to support qualifications would appeal to them.  

Luxford said: “This appears to be a very farsighted action by Deliveroo, putting a lot of space between them and the ‘what if we train people and they decide to leave’ mentality seen in some employers.”  

“Deliveroo is promoting mobility in the workforce and at the same time making itself a more attractive organisation to work with.”   

Seb Maley, CEO of contractor insurance Qdos, said this initiative is a surprising move from Deliveroo after its efforts to ensure delivery workers are certified as self-employed. 

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: “A business offering training and opportunities for self-employed workers to develop their careers can muddy the waters a little from an employment status perspective. This is particularly true given Deliveroo riders looked to claim employment rights from the gig economy platform but were ultimately unsuccessful, with the Court of Appeal deeming them self-employed.” 

Deliveroo said they had worked with the drivers’ GMB Union on this idea, as part of their collective consultation rights.