Justin King, chief executive of Sainsbury's and president of the IGD will use his speech at the IGD Food & Grocery Industry Skills & Employment Summit to announce the creation of the UK's first supermarket bakery college.
He will also highlight the lack of recognition the grocery industry receives as a source of economic growth and a provider of skills and employment.
The college, in Wellingborough, has been created in partnership with flour supplier, Whitworth, and is based on site at one of Whitworth's bakeries. The new facility will speed colleagues through NVQ training in half the time it currently takes, reducing the time from 12 months to 6 months, meaning qualified bakers will be sent into stores more quickly. College training will be available to everyone who works in the bakery, not just apprentices.
In his speech, King will say: "The college will get more qualified bakers into our stores more quickly, which will improve the quality of our offer at the same time as providing our colleagues with the skills they need to carve out a long and rewarding career in retail.
"This is just one of many initiatives through which we provide our colleagues with skills and training.
"We believe that the investment in our bakery colleagues will enable them to continue to deliver the fantastic quality and high level of customer service our shoppers expect."
Justin will also use the speech to celebrate the work that grocery retailers and manufacturers have already undertaken to spearhead economic growth and create jobs.
He will say: "The food industry could be the cornerstone of job creation and economic growth over the coming decade. Collectively, the total food chain already employs 3.6 million people - that's one job in every seven in the UK. Food and grocery represents almost half of all retail sales and food is the biggest manufacturing sector.
"Companies like Sainsbury's will continue to invest in the skills of tomorrow, but we also need help from the education system.
"So as planners and policy makers look to the future and develop ways to reinvigorate the UK economy, they ought to have food industry at the front of their minds.
"We have a, world class food industry at every stage of the chain, well placed to benefit from the opportunities arising in a fast changing global marketplace."