11 Retail Manager Training Scholarships up for Grabs

Independent retailers are invited to apply for eleven free scholarships to attend the prestigious Oxford Summer School announced today by Skillsmart Retail and Retail Trust.

The week-long training course, worth nearly £2,000, gives attendees the opportunity to develop their retailing skills and exchange ideas with fellow retailers from across the UK.

The Summer School, run by BHF-BSSA, takes place between 20th and 26th August 2011 at Oxford University’s Keble College.

In the current economic climate many smaller retailers are unable to fund extensive training, which is why Skillsmart Retail and Retail Trust are offering the scholarships exclusively to companies that employ fewer than 1,000 people.

Anne Seaman, Chief Executive of Skillsmart Retail said:

“We want to encourage businesses to provide the best training for their staff, but we know times are tough and smaller businesses do not have the funds to send their managers on courses. These scholarships are the perfect opportunity for independent retailers to access expert training from industry leaders and to network with other retailers.”

“The Summer School will stretch these ambitious managers, giving them new skills to take back into their businesses. I would encourage all independent retailers to get their applications in as soon as possible.”

Over the week delegates will attend a range of lectures, tutorials and workshops led by retail experts. From marketing and merchandising to leadership and finance, the comprehensive programme aims to increase delegates’ confidence and skills in their current roles and aspirations for their future careers in retail.

Anne-Elisabeth Bierton, branch manager of Colemans of Kettering in Northampton, won a place at the Summer School last year:

“Winning the scholarship was fantastic. I’m very ambitious personally and for the business and staff. The chance to be in the same room as some of retail’s top people, getting the opportunity to listen and learn from them was second to none.”

Kamal Thaker, manager of the Stop Shop News in Middlesex and another scholarship winner, added:

“There is so much competition in the independent sector at the moment, from the multiples and others; it’s tough to stay ahead. The opportunity to be taught by experts in the field and network with fellow retailers at Oxford Summer School has really helped me grow in confidence and I’ve used a lot of lessons from the course to improve my business.”

Application forms can be downloaded from www.skillsmartretail.com/oxfordsummerschool and must be received by 5pm on Friday 13 May 2011.

For more information email helpline@retailtrust.org.uk or call 0808 801 0808.

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