National Skills Academy for Retail launched

Retail sector defies the recession with the launch the biggest network of training centres ever seen in the UK.

There’s been a lot of doom and gloom recently; We’re deep into the economic downturn, the housing market has been dire and the unemployment figures paint a bleak picture. Unless you’re into shopping that is…

Some of retail’s biggest names – including ‘Dragons’ Den’ star Theo Paphitis, Mary ‘Queen of Shops’ Portas, John Lewis Partnership Chairman – Charlie Mayfield, Sainsbury’s CEO – Justin King, Kingfisher Plc CEO – Ian Cheshire as well as Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships Lord Young – gathered in London to launch National Skills Academy for Retail, in which retail skills shops across the country will become part of a network providing access to world-class skills and business support for retailers, employees and the future workforce.

Skills Academy – Not just window dressing.

The skills shops will deliver a range of services to drive up the skills levels of everyone within the retail sector – including pre-employment training, Apprenticeships, retail customer service programmes and retail work experience opportunities.

The Academy aims to meet the target of supporting 165,000 people through learning over the first five years. It’s hoped this network will act as a resource for everyone; from individuals hoping to begin their career or get back in to work, to retailers looking for the best way to train their existing workforce.

For further information about the Skills Academy visit

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