FROM fashion and beauty through to groceries and bargain goods, the retail sector accounts for more than one in five jobs in the Antrim area.
Rutledge Recruitment and Training have been working closely with local retailers to offer a specific programme of training workshops and qualifications to help develop employees in the retail sector who are under the age of 25.
The training and qualifications are totally funded by the Department for the Economy, and on completion of the full programme the employer will receive a £500 incentive per candidate.
The Young Retailers Programme is for employees under the age of 25 who are working 21 hours a week.
This is for staff working on the shop floor or in other roles including customer service, stores and warehouse, and we also have a dedicated course for supervisors and managers.
Marc McGerty is the Rutledge's Business Development Executive for Antrim and Ballymena.
“We have been working very closely with retailers across the full spectrum of retail sectors,” Marc explained.
“Retail employers have been very clear that a lack of skills, experience, qualifications and confidence with their young employees has an effect on their business and also the young person's career growth.
“As a result we have created the Young Retailers Programme which will help these members of staff to develop new practical and current skills for the workplace, to gain new qualifications and to gain more confidence.”
Rutledge Branch Manager in Antrim Christine Mochan added:
“We often hear about how much money is spent by shoppers online and in neighbouring towns and cities, so for local retailers to win these customers back and to stop the leakage they need to think outside the box.
“At Rutledge we believe that investing in training and developing your staff, managers and leaders is the most cost effective way to get back this competitive edge.”
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Paul Michael said that they Council is committed to developing the local economy, including the retail sector.
“The retail sector across the Antrim area accounts for more than one in five jobs, ranging from high street stores and outlet shops through to convenience stores,” Mr Michael told the Antrim Guardian.
“The retail sector has changed considerably over the past 10 years and online shops have been affecting local businesses.
“Council believes that improving the skills of employees in the retail sector will have a very positive impact on our retail offering, leading to more knowledgeable, talented and customer focused retail businesses.
“Council is also committed to helping young people to develop skills for life and skills for work.
“This initiative will help young people to gain these skills along with greater confidence and motivation, in addition to Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications.”
For more information on the Young Retailers Programme please contact Marc McGerty on 028 9448 7848 or 07840124009, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call into the Rutledge Antrim Branch at 10B Dublin Road.