UniCredit launches staff training pilot project in Italy

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FILE PHOTO: Basker plays a violin outside a branch of UniCredit bank in Rome

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian bank UniCredit said it had launched a pilot project to train staff in Italy to try to boost retention rates, weeks after rival heavyweight Intesa Sanpaolo announced a venture with a private equity firm centred around its learning operations.

UniCredit CEO Andrea Orcel said retention rates were between 30% and 50% higher for companies with a strong learning culture.

"Eighty-six percent of millennials say they would stay in their roles if training and development is offered by their employers," the former UBS banker said.

Spurred by the disruption of the pandemic, record numbers of people have left their jobs in a phenomenon dubbed "The Great Resignation," heightening the challenge of how to retain talented workers.

The UniCredit University Italy programme will offer classes both online and in person to staff, with a view to polishing existing skills and adding new ones.

UniCredit plans to extend the pilot project to the other countries in which it operates.

Intesa announced in February a venture with Nextalia, the private equity firm founded by former Mediobanca banker Francesco Canzonieri, to externalise its training divisions.

Intesa said it would fold its operations dedicated to offering learning to businesses and staff into a newly-created company called Digit'ed, controlled by Nextalia.

Intesa, which would own 20% of the new company, said it was signing multi-year agreements for Digit'ed to provide learning to the bank's employees and customers.

(Reporting by Valentina Za; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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