May 13, 2016

Richard Pennycook Visits CAL

Co-operative Group Chief Executive, Richard Pennycook, visited The Co-operative Academy of Leeds (CAL) this week.

The academy has students from a diverse range of backgrounds – including asylum seekers and refugees (over 70 languages are spoken). Richard was the focus of a Q&A session with Year 10 Business Studies students – asking questions on why he took a pay cut, the role of apprenticeships, Fairtrade, turning the business around after the bank crisis, the future of membership and more. He was joined by Simon Jagger, Funeralcare Apprentice, and Nicolle Hargadon, from the Co-op Young Members’ Board, and they expertly answered all the questions and even found time to join the students for a pizza lunch.

Through a catch up with Principal, Jonny Mitchell, and a tour of the Academy, Richard could see first hand how the Co-op’s long history of supporting education continues to this day and is making a massive difference to the lives and potential of these students.

Jonny said "The Co-op’s relationship with the academy is a strong one. The links with the real world that being part of the Co-operative Group can offer are absolutely essential. And having Co-op colleagues on the governing body is very very important – they bring with them business acumen and management experience that is vital for me and my senior leadership team”

Director of The Co-operative Academies Trust, Frank Norris, said "It's a real privilege to have Richard visiting our academies, we are very proud of what we do and confident that we are a huge part of the future of the co-op. CAL has gone from strength to strength in the short time that Jonny has been leading them and students are incredibly excited to be a part of the co-op future."