The stakes have been increased in the supermarket wars in Truro with a store offering to pay workers’ college fees.
Developers LXB have struck a deal with Asda to take up a plot near Threemilestone with a shopping development and more than 400 homes.
The supermarket giant has said it would create up to 400 full and part-time jobs if planning permission was granted for the development.
But the claims have been questioned by a rival development.
Asda and LXB have already met with Truro College, Cornwall College and Jobcentre Plus to discuss local employment plans.
Asda said it would offer some members of staff the opportunity to study debt-free for an NVQ Level 7 qualification in retail or distribution which they said was equivalent to an Honours degree. It would also offer a fast-track graduate programme that would give local graduates the chance to develop a career in retail management, distribution, trading or finance.
A spokesman for Asda said: "We are delighted to be part of this exciting scheme. These plans have the potential to deliver not just a fresh and exciting new offer to local shoppers but a significant long-term economic boost to Truro.”
The developers said the planning application was expected to be decided by Cornwall Council this month.
If the project is given the go ahead LXB said it could be on site within 12 months.
Nick Alford of LXB said the company's proposals would be the "vital spark" that would kick-start development north of the A390 and pave the way for many thousands more jobs to be created and affordable homes to be built.
There are now four different sites on the outskirts of Truro vying for planning permission for supermarkets - with only two probable winners.
Inox, the company behind 1,500 homes at Langarth near Threemilestone, wants to build a supermarket to fund a stadium for Cornwall and the Hendra company has also submitted plans for a superstore near the park-and-ride.
Helical Bar, the company behind plans to develop Truro City Football Club (TCFC) said it hoped to submit an application for a retail park on the Treyew Road site in the spring. The developers said they would be objecting to the LXB plans.
Peter Masters, chairman of TCFC, said: “In the circumstances it would be prudent to perhaps allow a smaller Supermarket on the Treyew Road site that already has planning permission granted to develop which will in turn allow part funding for the stadium or all if a scaled down version can be agreed whilst enhancing the town centre trade.
“Personally I don’t buy in that the Threemilestone Asda would sustain 400 local jobs in the district as there would inevitably be job losses brought about by shop closures in the town centre. You only have to look around the country to see many examples of that.”