REACH. Reskilling for excellence in retail and customer handling

Lead Partner
Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini

Partners: Brico Io S.p.A., I love poke retail s.r.l., Prezzemolo&Vitale S.p.A., Stedi (sviluppo telecomunicazioni Edi)

The project Reskilling for excellence in retail and customer handling (REACH) aims to contribute to reduce the digital skills' gap among store managers currently employed in three different sectors: grocery, hotellerie-restaurant-café (HoReCa), and retail.

Specifically, through its activities REACH will enhance both the soft skills necessary for the management of teams, and the hard skills for interacting with the digital marketing technologies and the digital management of supply chain processes in the shops.

In order to achieve this goal, the project aims to provide a training programme, with the support of Retail Hub, the first business accelerator for retail innovation, which uses the artificial intelligence-based platform Innovation Explorer, an international network and a team of analysts to validate the best start-ups and scale-ups for the sector.

This will involve 196 employees from three Italian companies distributed across 8 classes. With a total duration of 80 hours per class over 5 months, the training will be aimed to give participants an introduction to the theory and practice of the new technologies used for managing the so-called "omnichannel reality".

The main objectives will be both to avoid the risk of substitution of the human capital in service and to enable the three partner companies to have a more effective digital transformation of their business processes. 

In particular, the REACH project aims to intervene on the following aspects:

  • fostering the understanding and adoption of key enabling technologies (KET) – such as Internet of Things, augmented and extended reality, cloud computing, and digital marketing – by the workforce employed in the selected pilot companies in the retail sector;
  • promoting lifelong learning as a tool to mitigate the social risk of expulsion from the production cycle due to digital transformation; 
  • stimulating sustainable and equitable growth in the reference sector, based on the upskilling of workers already employed in retail outlets; 
  • minimising, for training beneficiaries, the risk of exiting the labour market due to digital transformation, while ensuring, at the same time, a positive spillover effect towards other non-participating employees involved in store management activities.

In addition to the preparation of the project proposal, Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini will be responsible for coordinating the implementation of the activities and the participation of partners, companies and suppliers, ensuring the achievement of the project objectives.

Within the project, in particular, FGB will be in charge of the following:

  • management, administration and reporting;
  • control room;
  • operational development;
  • monitoring and evaluation;
  • coordination of training and accompanying actions in collaboration with Retail Hub and Stedi;
  • management of relations with employers involved as partners;
  • delivery of part of the training modules (with own teachers and tutors);
  • promotion and communication of activities.

The project was selected and supported by Fondo per la Repubblica Digitale - Impresa Sociale, created through a partnership between the public and the private social sector (the Italian government and the Association of foundations and savings banks, Acri). For the years 2022-2026, it allocates on a experimental basis a total of approximately 350 million euros.

The fund is fuelled by payments made by banking foundations, with the aim to increase digital skills and develop the country's digital transition. In order to implement the fund's programmes – which is moving in the context of the digitalisation objectives set out in the PNRR (National Recovery and Resilience Plan) and the FNC (National Complementary Fund) – in May 2022 the Fondo per la Repubblica Digitale - Impresa Sociale was created, as a non-profit organisation wholly owned by Acri.