Sir, The commitment of major supermarkets to local employment and skills is well established, as is their mission to achieve more sustainable approaches to procurement and maintenance. Yet so far there is little evidence of these two initiatives being integrated. Hopefully this week's announcement from Sainsbury's is a step in the right direction ('Sainsbury's unveils £1bn sustainability plan',, 12 October).

It is natural for supermarkets to focus on opportunities in the community to create retail jobs and training. Yet some, such as Tesco, Sainsbury's and Waitrose, have taken this further through construction, engineering and building management initiatives.

The question is whether these initiatives are structured to maximise opportunities and create a consistent approach across a supermarket's entire estate and indeed across the sector as a whole.

A new public sector initiative by ConstructionSkills could help. ConstructionSkills has used more than 40 demonstration projects of the National Skills Academy for Construction to establish what employment and skills commitments are appropriate.

This initiative offers an area where supermarkets and their supply chains may benefit from public sector recommendations.

David Mosey, Trowers & Hamlins