A raft of retail bosses have pledged support for a network of retail training centres around the UK as part of the launch of the National Skills Academy for Retail.
John Lewis Chairman Charlie Mayfield, House of Fraser chief executive John King, Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King and La Senza investor and Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis were among retailers who came together at a central London event last night to support the launch of 18 retail skill shops which form the first part of the academy.
The skills shops will be walk in centres at a variety of shopping and retail locations across the UK, which will carry out retail training. The training includes customer service, management and apprenticeships, which are available for young people wanting to get into retail and existing retail industry workers.
The first 18 skill shops will be: Cheshire Oaks Retail Academy, Derby Retail Skills Shop, Devon Retail Skills, Greater Birmingham Retail Skills Shop in Solihull, Hawk Retail Academy in London, Heathrow Retail Academy, Kings Lynn Retail Skills Shop, Lakeside Training Centre, The Learning Shop in Bluewater, Leeds Retail Skills Academy, Newcastle Skills Shop, Preston Retail Skills Shop, Retail Links, Hampshire Skills Shop, Retail Skills Centre in Leicester, Skillscentre: MK in Milton Keynes, The Source in Meadowhall in Sheffield, UK Career Centre in Manchester and Wembley Skills Shop.
A total of 70 skill shops are planned over the next three years, as part of the academy, which has been set up by Skillsmart Retail and funded by the Learning Skills Council.
Paphitis, who is also an apprenticeship ambassador for Skillsmart, said: “The National Skills Academy for Retail’s accredited skills shops will be able to help both employees and employers find the right training, whether it is an Apprenticeship scheme, retail customer service programme or work experience opportunity.”