Learning Partner (Central & South)

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We have an exciting opportunity for a Learning Partner to join our People team working field based in our Central and South regions, with regular travel to our Central Support Office in Lasswade. You will...

We have an exciting opportunity for a Learning Partner to join our People team working field based in our Central and South regions, with regular travel to our Central Support Office in Lasswade. You will be an experienced L&D professional and learning advocate who will help strengthen, design and deliver our learning and development programmes as we grow the learning culture across our internal teams. As a confident business partner and facilitator, with the ability to scope out training opportunities, you'll provide both quick and longer term substantial learning solutions. A motivated, creative, trusted and flexible individual who is willing to travel to support their regions (where appropriate), and has resilience for change and overcoming challenges, will thrive in this role. 

Role Contribution

Dobbies Academy

  • Helps shape, build and deliver on formal development programmes as part of Dobbies Academy, taking an active role in the design, development and roll-out of all activities
  • Works with our external training providers to ensure that compliance controls are met, including cost management, learner administration, course bookings etc.
  • Acts as a key point of contact internally for all our team completing learning to ensure they have a great learning experience, overcome any challenges and are supported
  • Supports with the evaluation and ROI of our programmes
  • Helps identify further opportunities for expansion of the Dobbies Academy and other development activities, including helping to structure clear development pathways
  • Support the Talent Development Manager with evolving the learning strategy
  • Acts as one of the first points of contact for the L&D team, and is a brand steward for our Learning Management System, and all other training offerings
  • Is the first point of escalations for training tickets and emails
  • Supports our regions with development needs ranging from face to face workshops and training days, to virtual coaching moments and external learning avenues


  • Work closely with the People Partners and Regional Teams to drive, land and support regional initiatives and compliance; visits CSO regularly to enhance visibility and trust
  • Partners with internal communications to ensure new activity lands well once launched, and has the correct stream of communication to the right audiences
  • Conducts regular check ins with our learners to check on their progress and encourage their personal development
  • Acts as a mentor or coach to key identified learners on either a study assistance programme, graduate placement or apprenticeship
  • Conducts training needs analysis across allocated regions
  • Seeks opportunities to involve store management within working groups to adopt a collaborative approach to learning solutions
  • Becomes a visible advocate for enhancing the learning culture across Dobbies
  • Builds good relationships with the Regional Managers to understand where they see gaps and would like greater L&D support with
  • Assists with the realignment of our values and beliefs to our store teams
  • Works closely with the wider People Team to ensure alignment and value add
  • Leads by example and act as supportive role model to the Admins and Coordinators
  • Attends / leads / supports face to face training events across the UK as the needs arise
  • Comfortable to stretch up on occasions when the Talent Development Manager is out of office, acting with autonomy to keep the work flow moving
  • Supports and leads on a variety of other wider L&D and engagement projects to ensure the full delivery of our People Plan via sprints and structured project planning
  • Be present and visible, in line with the expectations of the Talent Development Manager, regarding presence in Edinburgh vs working from home / field / onsite training


Compliance & LMS

  • Supports the People Administrators / Coordinators with LMS reporting and escalations
  • Takes an active role in the development and coordination of all our learning activity within our LMS, training inbox and ticket desk as required
  • Undertakes in-house academy training to become an SME with our LMS
  • Supports with the coordination of other compliance training e.g. first aid, fire warden, IOSH, DPS, as well as L&D admin responsibilities as part of team daily tasks
  • General L&D administrative tasks and ad-hoc responsibilities as required
  • Actively seeks out relevant ready-made content from our LMS to be used more consciously for our team member’s development
  • Helps to evolve the use of our LMS system by using the Perform aspect more intentionally for development activities
  • Having experience with reporting and data solutions, or being an intermediate user of excel and other Microsoft suites would be advantageous
  • Be comfortable to have root cause analysis conversations with key stakeholders, before agreeing on the most appropriate solutions via TNA
  • Work closely with the Safety and Governance teams regarding any changes, to ensure all content remains relevant and legal
  • Maintains the training files and the shared L&D folders, both locally and those visible to stores via the Dobbies portal

Content Design and Delivery

  • Creates bespoke learning content for our teams for both digitally and face to face
  • Travel to sites / training locations across the UK to deliver meaningful and engaging training / workshops / roadshows as appropriate
  • Partners with our internal teams to build upon learning catalogues for their areas of business via our LMS system
  • Supports the Talent Development Manager with leadership modules for both our digital and face to face training offerings
  • Collaborate and design impactful sessions to team members of all levels; face to face or via e-learning using Articulate 365
  • Design development pathways to supportive content for our store team members / non-management roles to further their professional development
  • Create and design our leadership development pathways for mid-management upwards
  • Ensures consistency is maintained across the various segments of the business, relating to learning initiatives that have been created locally
  • Experiencing of working in a retail or hospitality setting is desirable, but not essential
  • Experience of working with Kallidus LMS is desirable, but not essential

Project Management and Support

  • Co-leads the Apprenticeship and Study Assistance programmes at Dobbies
  • Leads various learning projects including sections of our evolving store induction, career development pathways, and other such projects to enhance internal development
  • Actively partners and delivers on multiple projects simultaneously, to achieve impactful results as we keep the drumbeat of L&D alive throughout the business
  • Supports the wider People Team / Ops Team / Restaurant Team to contribute to ongoing projects across the business
  • Ensure the Dobbies values and tone of voice are weaved through all pieces of work
  • Works well to project deadlines and helps to launch these into the appropriate business areas, driving momentum to see impactful results
  • Have a hands on approach and be willing to support the wider People team with ad-hoc activities during holiday cover / peak periods
  • Will support on wider people projects with as much enthusiasm and drive as L&D

You’ve done a good job when….

  • You have created multiple strong development avenues for our internal learners, and strengthened their experience of L&D.
  • You have become a trusted, solutions-based advisor, who has designed meaningful content and delivered / landed successful projects.
  • You have actively helped to shape the learning culture across the business.
  • You are a visible and engaging member of the people team, who provides cross-function support and adds value to the wider people team.
  • You have built great relationships and demonstrate a passion for L&D.

What we offer

  • Holiday – enjoy a well deserved break with 33 annual leave days per year (pro-rata for part time)
  • Discount – treat yourself with generous uncapped discount across our stores with 50% off in our Restaurants, 25% off in the Garden Centre and 10% off in our food halls
  • Hybrid working – a combination of office and home working to help balance your work life balance
  • Pension – save for the future with our company contributed enhanced Group Pension Plan
  • Season ticket loans – spread the cost of travel with an interest free loan
  • Access to Wagestream – support your financial wellbeing, with ability to access earnings ahead of pay day, save for the future and financial advice
  • Access to Retail Trust – seek confidential support, free counselling service and discounted retail rewards with our employee wellbeing platform
  • Access to Dobbies Academy – continue your development with our eLearning platform and development programmes
  • Study assistance – invest in your professional development with funded courses and qualifications
  • The little things to keep you going through the day – free tea, coffee, and milk
  • Collaborative office space – with access to our wellbeing room, and book swap
  • Invites to our annual company conference, summer and Christmas social events
  • And more including…Life assurance, eye care, cycle to work scheme…oh and a dog friendly office

About Dobbies
For 150 years, the Dobbies name has stood for quality. During this time we've been proud to provide the very best products and expert advice to gardeners throughout the UK.

Today Dobbies is UK's largest Garden Centre retailer with stores across Scotland, England and Northern Ireland. Naturally, we have one of the biggest and best ranges of quality plants and gardening equipment around. You don't have to be an avid gardener to enjoy Dobbies because, as well as having everything to make your garden grow, we have everything you need to simply relax and enjoy your garden – and much more.