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Skillsmart Retail awards Oxford Summer School scholarships

Individuals from businesses including lifestyle brand Henri-Lloyd and luxury etailer Net-a-Porter have been awarded scholarships worth nearly £2,000 each to attend the Oxford Summer School retail training programme.

Ten scholarships have been awarded to fund those attending the course, which will take place at Oxford University’s Keble College between August 21 and 27.

Training body Skillsmart Retail partnered with retail charity the Retail Trust to offer ten free scholarship places for the event, which will be run by the British Shops and Stores Association.

For the first time this year, the bursaries were available only to retailers with fewer than 1,000 employees in a bid to support independents during difficult economic conditions.

The Oxford Summer School, which has been running for 81 years, will feature a speaker line-up of experienced retailers including Joseph Wan, chief executive of Harvey Nichols, Mark Newton-Jones, chief executive of Shop Direct Group and Susan Aubrey-Cound, director of multi-channel development at Marks and Spencer. 

The ten scholarship winners for this year included Kay Heelback of concession operator Hallett Retail Services, Darren Hunter of lifestyle retailer and brand Henri-Lloyd, Joanna Power of indie department store Elphicks, Eimear Sinnott of luxury etailer Net-a-porter and James Stevenson of indie department store Jarrold’s.

Anne Seaman, chief executive of Skillsmart Retail said: “It has been especially exciting to be able to give this fantastic opportunity exclusively to smaller, independent retailers. Sharing experiences and learning from them is essential and Skillsmart Retail is pleased to continue its support for the Summer School.”

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