From education to employment

Learning providers: You are vital to learning success

Learning providers are vital to retail business success according to Skillsmart Retail.
That was the message the sector skills council’s chief executive, Anne Seaman, delivered to the ALP May Conference in Nottingham, explaining that learning providers could play an important part in helping businesses to upskill their staff and increase their profits.
She said by working together on programmes such as Retail Works and Apprenticeships, learning providers could help retailers to get the most out of their employees: “As a Sector Skills Council it is our aim to ensure that employers are able to get the best out of their staff and learning providers are key partners in this.
“With schemes such as the 14-19 Diploma, Apprenticeships and Local Employment Partnerships, the impetus is on learning providers and businesses working together.
“If learning providers can make it easy for employers to work with them then they could do some fantastic work for the benefit of both learners and retailers.”
Alongside the speech, Skillsmart Retail staff also showcased its Retail Works programme, a flexible modular training programme which delivers the understanding necessary to work in retail for those who have been out of work.
Lynn Bavage demonstrated how the course could provide those who may be out of work or who work in a different sector with the vital skills they need to successfully apply for and secure a job in retail.
The conference this year focused on the ever-closer ties between skills training and employability and how Government’s consultation on the machinery of government changes will support the planning, funding and management structure of skills after 2010.
With many ALP members delivering skills provision for the LSC and employment services for Jobcentre Plus at a time when government policy is encouraging more joint working between the two funding agencies, the key theme of the conference was employment and skills.
Meanwhile, Skillsmart Retail are reminding rising stars that the closing date for entry to the Retail Apprentice of the Year is 27th May. The award is part of Retail Week’s Rising Star Awards and sees Apprentices battle it out for a place on the shortlist and an invite to the glitzy final at the Rising Stars gala dinner on 4 September at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

Judith Meyrick, Apprenticeships Manager at Skillsmart Retail, said:  “This is a great opportunity to highlight Apprenticeships as a fantastic tool for businesses and employees alike, and reward and encourage the very best Apprentices. We know that there are some really talented Apprentices out there and we want as many of them as possible to get the chance to enter.”

Rosie Spowart

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