Fifteen learners have successfully completed a retail training programme in Bristol which is preparing them to work in the sector.

The first group to graduate from the two-week classroom-based programme (pictured) have progressed to one-week work placements with the prospect of employment if they are subsequently successful at interview.

Three participants in the work placements have already been offered retail employment.

The Retail Academy, run by Seetec Outsource and Skills in partnership with supermarket giant Tesco, provides learners with training in customer service, stock control systems, supply chain, working safely and teamwork.

The West of England combined Authority has funded the training through its Adult Education Budget, in a partnership with employment and skills specialist Seetec.

Through working with Tesco, Seetec is able to provide all learners who complete the programme with the opportunity to undertake work experience, with retail jobs on offer for those who pass the application and interview process.

Learner Giorgio Tardio from Bristol said: “At first I found the course challenging but it got easier as it went on. I learnt a lot about the aspects of retail and it boosted my confidence. I had a good time and made friends.”

Seetec Pluss Change Coach Jess Preece added: “I referred Giorgio to this course as he wants to pursue a career in a retail. The course itself and the Tesco placement is a great opportunity for him to go into paid work.

“Throughout the course I could see Giorgio was learning a lot and growing in confidence. He bonded well with the other learners and worked well as part of a team, skills which he can take into the workplace.”

Chris Levitt, Seetec’s Adult Education Budget and Traineeship Operations Manager – South, said: “The group have come a long way on their journey and seeing how they have progressed and formed friendships is brilliant.

“The skills and knowledge they have gained has empowered them and given them the confidence to go into retail environments. The opportunities Tesco are providing have been the icing on the cake and with all securing a placement it has been really encouraging.”

The Adult Education Budget funds experienced training providers like Seetec to upskill individuals seeking employment by delivering vocational training and work placements in partnership with businesses.

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