Apprenticeships in retailPosted: 25th of February 2015 by
The UK retail sector is huge, the retail sector is the largest private sector employer in the UK and there are around 286,000 retail stores UK-wide. Wholesale and retail contributed 16% of the economic output in 2012 and continues to grow. In April 2014, consumers spent approximately £27 billion and in 2012 4.3 million people were employed in the sector – that’s 15.9% of the total for the UK.
Job roles within the retail sector are hugely varied and range from part-time employees with no qualification to full-time graduate and post graduate roles working across such areas as: buying, distribution and logistics, merchandising, marketing and PR, sales and store operatives, IT, HR, Finance and accounting to name a few.
There’s probably a supermarket or a newsagent’s, a department store, a clothes shop, a beauty salon, a jewellers, a hairdresser’s, a phone shop, a post office, a travel agency, maybe a cinema, an estate agent’s, a restaurant or a pub… There are all sorts of people doing all sorts of jobs, in shops all over the country, which you might be brilliant at doing too!
Doing an apprenticeship in retail and commercial enterprise will make the most of your people skills and develop your talent for sales, marketing and customer service. Starting at the bottom and working your way up is a great way to learn the tricks of the trade and the nitty gritty of running a retail business, especially if you see yourself owning your own shop or running your own commercial enterprise sometime in the future.
In the spotlight: Retail buyer
Buyers plan and select the range of products to be sold. They analyse consumer buying patterns and predict and prepare for future buying trends. They also develop and maintain relationships with suppliers and present new products and ranges to senior retail managers. Buyers can be very specialist, for example wine buyers who deal with products from particular countries or regions.
How do I become a retail buyer?
Particularly senior buyer roles in large organisations tend to be graduate jobs. Routes into this might include an HNC, HND, Foundation Degree or Honours Degree. These might be gained through full-time study at a college or university or by undertaking a sponsored degree with an employer, where you are employed and released, much as you are on an apprenticeship programme to study perhaps one day a week at a university.
Once you’ve registered you can search for opportunities and jobs in this sector at www.notgoingtouni.co.uk/all
Discover more about all sectors where you can do an apparenticeship in our Apprenticeship Guide - out at the end of the month.
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