Paul Smith and House of Fraser back new retail leadership degree

Charity Retail Trust has worked with 12 UK retailers including Paul Smith, Jigsaw, House of Fraser and JD Sports to develop a new Retail Leader Apprenticeship programme which will begin next year.

The first in a series of supported degrees for retail, the level 6 programme will welcome at least 400 retail employees, and is the first initiative of its kind to be approved for the retail sector. The programme aims to widen the search for people who see the retail industry as a career of choice, and will help organisations make the most of their apprenticeship levy funds.

Apprentices will work full-time while studying towards a Bachelor of Arts degree at their chosen university. The programme aims at developing their strategic, technical, managerial and leadership retail skills. Over the four-year programme, retailers will be able to claim back up to 22,000 pounds of their levy funds per student.

12 UK retailers back new Retail Leader Apprenticeship Degree

Academic learning is integrated with practical on-the-job experience. A blended approach to learning combines face-to-face training days with online learning, research and assessment activities. Business projects, negotiated with employers, offer the apprentice the opportunity to apply their learning directly to their organisation and its business context.

Commenting on the new degree in a statement, Amanda Cox, People and Services Director at Dunelm Group plc, said: “This is a real legacy moment for retail – showing through a work-based degree how important retail is as a sector and the amazing careers that people can have within it.

“I look forward to seeing our first colleagues go through this programme and the skills this gives them to fast track their careers, as well as unlocking their true potential.”

Amy Prendergast, Head of People and Vocational Learning Services at Retail Trust added: “We are thrilled that the brand new Retail Leader Apprenticeship Degree has been approved for delivery next year. The programme is the first of our supported degrees developed collaboratively with the industry.

“We have 12 retailers on board and would encourage other businesses to make the most of their levy funds and develop their next generation of leaders.”

Photo credit: Retail Trust





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