Published on April 3rd, 2013 | by Daisy Lloyd0
Why Retail needs Apprenticeships
How does the line go? ‘Britain is a nation of shopkeepers’…ensuring that will remain true is a battle in the present economic climate.
The majority of retailers in this country are small, and some enterprises are lucky enough to have expanded into small chains. This is where it gets tricky. Finding the right staff who share your vision is incredibly difficult. Not everyone is born a manager. Some skills, aside from having experience on the shop floor do need to be taught.
You might have a fantastic manager with customer service skills beyond compare, but can’t manage staff effectively.
Or do you have an employee with excellent technical skills but has no idea how to put them to full use, which could save your organisation money by linking how retail works with how to market it efficiently.
To have all of the skills that the Level 4 apprenticeship in Retail Management offers would be pretty amazing wouldn’t it.
The Retail Apprenticeship we offer, supports those areas where a skill gap means the difference between profit and loss.
For the employee, it shows you value their contribution. To invest in them, is to invest in the future of your business, your other staff, and the future of retail.
A recent study showed that teenagers leaving school do not aspire to shop work, preferring the more academic roles within Law, IT and Teaching.
So how will you find your key staff of the future? You have to offer them something tangible. When a member of staff has been with you for a while, gains experience but feels they are not making a contribution – apprenticeships are an important factor in developing their loyalty to your business.
Apprenticeships are a key route into work for young people, but only 15 per cent of employers have or offer them, though double this number (32 per cent) say they plan to offer them in future
Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership and UKCES said,
“The level of youth unemployment is staggering considering the skills shortages in sectors which are vital to our economy, like engineering and manufacturing. This is proof enough that the links between the education system, the skills system and the employment system are just not strong as they should be.
“Work experience and apprenticeships are ways to bypass these closed doors, providing valuable experience that is otherwise hard to obtain. However, our whole attitude to young people needs to change. Helping young people get a step on the employment ladder should be at the heart of every employer’s business strategy. And tapping into young talent makes good business sense.
“By taking concerted steps towards greater and more ambitious employer ownership of these challenges, we could achieve a great deal and potentially double the engagement of youth policy activity among UK employers.”
This again backs up one of the main points made the Sector Skills Retailling report from July 2012 it says
“The face of retailing is changing out of all recognition with the introduction of online shopping. Being part of this technological revolution in retailing, or being able to withstand its effects, is in large part a skills issue. Employers need to be able to assess and address, in good time, the implications of the manifold changes taking place in the sector. This will then make manifest future skill requirements and make employers – and their employees – more keenly aware of the way in which various skills and training programmes, such as the Apprenticeship or vocational qualifications, can assist them.”
Talk to us about your needs, and how the apprenticeship can make your business a sustainable one.