From education to employment

Final call to retailers for free scholarships at Oxford Retail Masters Forum

The sector skills council for retail, Skillsmart Retail, and Retail Trust, the principal charity of the retail sector, have made a final call for managers to apply for scholarships at its prestigious annual residential training event.

The deadline has been extended to January 14 to apply for one of six free places – each worth more than £2,000 – to join the Oxford Retail Masters Forum. The course progresses with different guest speakers over four days, and there is also the chance to pitch innovative business plans to a panel of retail experts.

Nigel J L Rothband, chief executive of Retail Trust, said: "Retail Trust has long recognised the need for increased educational opportunities for people working in retail. The aim of this bursary scheme is to assist aspiring managers in achieving their potential and fulfilling their ambitions in retail."

Managers at retailers of all sizes are able to apply, and scholarships are available to those who have worked in the industry for at least seven years. They are particularly relevant for business owners, senior managers, regional managers and store managers.

The Forum, which is run by the British Shops and Stores Association, will take place from Monday 16 to Thursday 19 March at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.

Kerry Burgess, Head of Communications and PR at Skillsmart Retail, added: "In the nine months since the last Oxford Retail Masters Forum, we have received nothing but positive feedback from the managers who won the 2008 scholarships.

"They have universally praised the course for opening new opportunities and believe their understanding of the retail world has increased hugely.

"The 2009 course will provide the same opportunities and we urge all retail managers to apply for these much-prized places."

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