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Sir Philip Green aims to open more retail academies

Arcadia owner Sir Philip Green is considering opening more shopkeeping schools after the success of London’s Fashion Retail Academy.

Speaking at the Academy’s 2010 awards ceremony today, the tycoon said he would be speaking to the new Government about the possibility. Green said: “My aim is to open another two or three across the country. That’s got to be our target.”

The Academy, which is backed by retailers including Marks & Spencer, Next and Tesco, has been running for five years and this year 60% of students graduating have jobs to go to – up from 50% last year.

Young people have been hit by joblessness during the downturn and this morning it emerged that 69 university leavers are chasing each available graduate job, compared to 49 last year.

Tesco director Terry Green, also present at the awards, said: “It’s clearly becoming more difficult to get a job in this environment. It’s not the case with this academy.”

Sir Philip Green there had been very positive feedback from fashion retailers which have employed graduates of the academy. He said: “There are plenty of jobs for great people. There could never be a more important time for all of us to encourage the students to give it their best shot.”

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