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Talking about the next generation

Jessica Brown

There are plenty of people with a burning desire to “work in fashion” but what this vaguest of ambitions actually means is anyone’s guess (although I would probably put money on it involving catwalk shows and Ab-Fab-style international jet-setting).

There are plenty of people with a burning desire to “work in fashion” but what this vaguest of ambitions actually means is anyone’s guess (although I would probably put money on it involving catwalk shows and Ab-Fab-style international jet-setting). Unfortunately, drawing out the brightest prospects from our schools, colleges and universities to work in the real world of retail remains something of a challenge.

Sadly, “working in a shop” is still viewed by Joe Public as a stop-gap or a means to an end for those who didn’t get their English GCSE. The industry has done too little to redress this stereotype and, as a result, it has continued to lose out to other sectors that do more to promote the long-term career prospects they offer.

It’s true that you don’t need a pile of academic qualifications to climb to the top - a case in point is this week’s cover star, whose identity you can learn of on p32. But you do need to be determined, nimble-minded and fleet of foot. If you work hard in retail, you can really go places quickly and earn serious money, not forgetting having fun and meeting some inspirational people along the way.

The Government’s drive to offset public sector job cuts with private sector job creation provides the perfect opportunity for the retail sector to present what it has to offer, not just to those who are new to the industry, but to those already working within it.

The Next Generation supplement that comes free with this issue is designed to celebrate the successes of those just starting out as well as to identify the next round of fashion leaders. I hope it serves as as much of an inspiration to you as it did to the Drapers team.

Jessica Brown Editor

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