Morrisons has called on its rivals to follow its lead in employing homeless and underprivileged people to bridge the skills gap.

In the past year, Morrisons has trained five formerly homeless people at a Leeds supermarket in a joint project with social project Create.

Speaking to The Grocer at IGD's Food and Grocery Skills and Employability Summit this week, group human resources director, Norman Pickavance, said he was confident Morrisons would hit its target of helping 1,000 homeless people return to long-term employment in the next five years.

With all five people still in work, Morrisons was preparing to roll the scheme out to other supermarkets, starting at branches in Salford and Liverpool, he added.

Create was now in talks with Asda with a view to introducing a similar scheme there, revealed deputy chair Gary Stott.