Massive congratulations to all the apprentices on year 1 and year 2 on completing semester 1!
In September 2020, we were delighted to have 183 apprentices registered for the incoming 20/21 year of the Apprenticeship in Retail Supervision programme. A 110 new apprentices joined Year 1 and 73 apprentices progressed into Year 2 of the programme.
Lets compare the two cohorts by numbers:
2019 cohort who progressed into Year 2 in Galway and Dublin
Combining the numbers from the Dublin and Galway cohorts, there are 73 apprentices from 21 different counties representing 35 different employer organisations. There are 38 females and 35 males enrolled. Other interesting demographics include:
- The average age of the 2019 cohort apprentice is 30.58
- Over 86% of new apprentices have worked in retail for a minimum of 2 years.
- Almost 64% currently hold a supervisory/assistant management position within their organisation.
- 45% of new apprentices are employed in the Grocery sub-sector of retail, 12% employed in Food and Catering, 8% Pharmacy, 7% Gardening and Agriculture, 6% DIY, 6% Forecourt. The remaining are employed in various sub-sectors including Fashion, Books & Stationery, Department Stores and Electrical & Furniture.
2020 Cohort which started Year 1 in Galway and Dublin
The new apprentices have come from 22 different counties and almost 40 different employer organisations. Our programme is one of the very few in the country that enrolled more females than males this year (61 females and 49 males). Other interesting demographics about apprentices that commended the programme in September include:
- The average age of new apprentices is 29.
- Over 80% of new apprentices have worked in retail for a minimum of 2 years.
- Almost 60% currently hold a supervisory/assistant management position within their organisation.
- 40% of new apprentices are employed in the Grocery sub-sector of retail, 14% employed in Food and Catering, 14% in Discount stores and just over 10% in Forecourt. The remaining are employed in various sub-sectors including Pharmacy, DIY, and Books & Stationery.
There is no doubt that 2020 was a year of change, and a year to change with COVID-19. Whilst it disrupted our classroom delivery, it has certainly not dampened the spirit and enthusiasm shown by this group of apprentices.
The apprentices studying on Year 1 of the programme had their Induction to the programme in September and never looked back. They embraced the technology used for the delivery of the programme with a strong commitment and passion to learn.
For the year 2 apprentices studying on the Apprenticeship in Retail Supervision programme they have just completed their elective modules. Massive thank you to the apprentices for their support and open-minds when it came to engaging with the online delivery. It is hard to believe that our Year 2 apprentices have only 4 modules left to complete in Semester 2 before finishing the programme.
A fundamental part to the Apprenticeship in Retail Supervision programme is the role played by the Workplace Mentors. This year in September we delivered training to 108 Workplace Mentors and to training managers. Our Workplace Mentors continue to provide excellent support to their apprentices and seem to be enjoying helping them complete the workplace tasks and involving them in initiatives within the workplace.
Thank you to our amazing team of tutors who developed incredibly interactive, informative and retail focused modules. In addition, to the amazing team of guest lecturers that joined us in semester 1, which included:
- Eddie Shanahan for his delivery on the Retail Merchandising Module.
- Tony O’ Brien, Security and Risk Management Specialist for his joining us for the Retail Security and Loss Prevention Module
- Carina McLaughlin from Team Bride who joined us for the Customer Experience Module
- Shane Martin from MoodWatchers.com who joined us for the Health, Safety and Welfare Module
- Orla Colleran from Galway who joined us for the Communications in Retail Module
The feedback from employers in relation to how the apprentices are getting on has been overwhelmingly positive. Employers have reported how their apprentices are bringing back excellent ideas to the workplace and appear much more confident in carrying out their role in the store. Employers have reported how they are organising masterclasses within their organisation for their apprentices and setting up a buddy system where Year 1 apprentices can learn from Year 2 apprentices.
With Covid restrictions, online classes will continue to April 2021 at the earliest, we are hoping to get apprentices back into the classroom before the end of this academic year – providing it is safe to do so.
The Apprenticeship in Retail Supervision programme has amongst the highest intakes for all apprenticeship programmes being delivered in Ireland in 2020, which is a testament to the retail sector and their commitment to training and education.
Enrolment for the 2021 intake of apprentices will commence in early 2021. If you have any questions regarding the retail apprenticeship programme, check out our website – https://www.retailirelandskillnet.com/apprenticeship/employer/ Demand is again likely to exceed supply so we are asking employers to get in contact with their projected numbers as early as possible. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 074 91 76853.
We would like to thank all the employers, workplace mentors and of course apprentices for their continued commitment and support with the Apprenticeship in Retail Supervision programme. The unique relationship and collaboration we enjoy with everyone involved is central to the success of the programme.
Finally, the team at Retail Ireland Skillnet would like to wish all our apprentices, employers and workplace mentors a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.
Oran, Theresa, Eilis, Leah and Roisin.