Skillsmart Retail UK and the National Skills Academy for Retail (NSAR) have invited retail sector employers to a consultation event that will take place on 17 May in London. The two organisations are looking for views and suggestions on what apprenticeships in the sector should entail and how they should be delivered.
The event constitutes a response to the UK government’s request for employer feedback on how to implement recommended reforms. The changes proposed by the government followed last year’s publication of the Richard Review of apprenticeships and their future. Embracing the suggestions put forward in the report, the government will focus on placing greater control in the hands of employers and making sure that apprenticeships follow rigorous standards and reflect employers’ needs.
While Skillsmart Retail UK will seek opinions on every aspect of apprenticeship content and delivery, it is most interested in understanding what apprenticeship design would work best to meet the needs of retail sector employers. Cara Taylor, who serves as apprenticeship manager at the organisation, said that the planned reforms were likely to have a major effect on retail apprenticeships and Skillsmart Retail UK wanted to give companies the opportunity to make their voices heard. Through other work Skillsmart Retail UK is doing and through its partnership with the NSAR, the organisation aims to transform the development and delivery of apprenticeships in the sector, Taylor added.
Retail is a critical sector of the UK economy and retail apprenticeships remain on the rise. In 2012, more than 20,000 people completed apprenticeship programmes in the sector.