Belfast Telegraph

New academy aiming to help retailers enhance their skills

By David Elliot

Retailers will be able to take advantage of a new academy aimed at boosting skills throughout the sector.

The National Skills Academy for Retail has launched Retail Skills Shops at South Eastern Regional College which will offer retail training in customer service, sales and frontline management.

The scheme, run by retail skills specialist WorldHost, has been developed in consultation with retailers in order to fill any skills gaps in the industry and to halt the decline of the high Street.

There are around 60 Retail Skills Shops across the UK and Suzi Donnelly, co-ordinator of the Greater Belfast Retail Skills Shop, said they give independent retailers the chance to compete with larger rivals.

"This gives local retailers the opportunity to compete with national retailers and also with online retailers, by building up the standard of customer service; it is proven that this will create customer loyalty in the long term."

Jane Rexworthy of the National Skills Academy for Retail said there's a gap in the market for retail skills training.

"The introduction of the new WorldHost training for retailers will provide a much-needed standard within the industry which has not existed before."