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Report reveals growing demand for e-commerce skills

The multichannel growth of retailers is posing new skills challenges for the sector, according to new research.

Although retailers better understand the value of training, research by Skillsmart Retail, the Sector Skills Council, suggests skills needs have been altered because of the recession and online growth.

Skills for e-commerce, such as web design, are seeing increasing demand as retailers look to reduce costs and compete across new technologies.

The report, Skills Priorities of the Retail Sector, also revealed one fifth of retailers now engage with the Retail Apprenticeship programme.

Anne Seaman, chief executive of Skillsmart Retail, says: “It is encouraging to see that retailers have such a positive attitude towards skills in the current trading conditions and we are excited about working with employers to face the challenges that multichannel retailing will bring.

“We are making good progress in building the skilled workforce that the sector needs, and this research offers some very clear signs that retailers are gearing up to deal with the skills issues that they face and we very much welcome that.”

It is anticipated that retailers’ training budgets will be the same or higher this year than 2009.

Tesco, the largest retailer in the UK, unveiled plans last week for a fast-track management training scheme. Developed by Skillsmart Retail, the programme will give 16-year-olds the opportunity to advance to store manager level by the age of 23.

Jason Rainbow

(Pictured: Anne Seaman, Skillsmart Retail chief executive)

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