The future of retail training is here…The Apprenticeship in Retail Supervision has been officially launched by Retail Ireland Skillnet, the Ibec group that develops and delivers training and education programmes for those employed in the retail sector.
Over the last three years, the team here at Retail Ireland Skillnet have been working on the design and development of the Apprenticeship in Retail Supervision. We have consulted with national and international retailers, work-based learning experts and researched global best-practice for apprenticeships. This has resulted in an innovative 2-year Level 6 Apprenticeship in Retail Supervision programme that equips people working in the retail sector with the skills, competencies and confidence to excel in retail management.
Ewelina O’Reilly, Dispenser Boots and Apprentice on Apprenticeship in Retail Supervision programme along with Brian Donaldson and Dr. Oran Doherty.
The opening address was given by Brian Donaldson, CEO of Maxol Group and Chair of the Retail Ireland Board during which he confirmed the importance of investing in people working in the retail sector. He discussed how the launch of Ireland’s first retail apprenticeship is a major milestone in retail being seen as a credible career option. Brian emphasised the importance of investing in retail’s biggest asset – the people working in the sector. Brian discussed how the Apprenticeship in Retail Supervision is a game changer for the retail sector.
Brian Donaldson, CEO of Maxol Group and Chair of Retail Ireland Board gives opening address.
Thereafter, Thomas Burke the Director of Retail Ireland discussed how the programme was developed in close collaboration with retailers over the last three years. Thomas outlined how the “acquisition and retention of talent has become increasingly difficult across all sectors in Ireland as the economy experiences an increasingly tightening labour market. In response, national retailers have come together to collaborate in the development of Ireland’s first National Apprenticeship for the retail sector. The Apprenticeship in Retail Supervision programme provides a new and exciting opportunity to attract and retain talented individuals in the industry, while helping further define clear career paths for those in the sector also, assisting them on a path towards management roles in the industry. This much-needed programme also addresses contemporary issues facing the domestic retail industry, including increasingly demanding consumers, technological advances and globalised competition. To navigate the skill requirements of the future, this two-year programme develops the human, digital and retail specific skills knowledge, skills and competencies to excel in retail”.
Thereafter the Programme Director, Dr. Oran Doherty took to the stage to outline how the effective collaboration between retailers and Retail Ireland Skillnet has resulted in an innovative retail apprenticeship programme. Oran discussed in detail the modules that are covered over the two years, which include:
According to Oran, “the two-year Level 6 programme is targeted at existing retail employees who aspire to be retail leaders. The apprenticeship has been extremely well received by industry with over forty retailers from a wide range of sub-sectors including fashion, pharmacy, homeware, DIY, food, department stores and convenience stores currently participating on the programme. The Apprenticeship in Retail Supervision commenced in October 2019, with over 100 apprentices from 24 counties around Ireland attending class in either Dublin or Galway.
There are a number of reasons why multiple and independent retailers nationwide have responded positively to the programme. Namely there are no registration fees for an employer or apprentice wishing to enrol on the programme. In addition, there is minimal disruption to the workplace as the Apprentice is only required to attend classroom-based learning 24 days per year which are delivered in two-three day blocks. Furthermore, the Apprenticeship in Retail Supervision addresses the practical opportunities and challenges currently impacting the Irish retail sector”.
Dr Mary-Liz Trant Executive Director of Skills Development in SOLAS provided attendees with an overview of the role SOLAS has in supporting apprenticeships in Ireland. SOLAS the State Body with the responsibility for funding, planning and co-ordinating Further Education and Training provide funding for the programme which ensures there is no registration fee for employers and apprentices enrolled on the Apprenticeship in Retail Supervision programme. Dr. Trant discussed how the number of apprenticeships available in Ireland has more than doubled in recent years.
Dr Mary-Liz Trant Executive Director of Skills Development in SOLAS discusses how Apprenticeships are changing the training and education landscape in Ireland.
Founder and Manager of Retail Ireland Skillnet, Sean Carlin and Retail Ireland Skillnet Quality Assurance Manager, Theresa Gallagher talk to Dave Flynn, Executive Director, Skillnet Ireland.
We were delighted to be joined by Dave Flynn, Executive Director, Skillnet Ireland. Skillnet Ireland have been a fundamental part of our journey over the last twenty years. Dave discussed the importance of industry-led training initiatives and how the innovative development approach adopted for the Apprenticeship programme is something to be commended.
In closing the event, Dr.Oran Doherty moderated an energetic and interesting panel discussion with many of Ireland’s leading retailers and an enrolled apprentice on The Apprenticeship in Retail Supervision. The panel included:
- Willie O Byrne – Managing Director, BWG Foods
- Geoff Byrne – Chief Operating Officer, Tesco Ireland
- Shane Flynn – Managing Director Food Services & Facilities Management, Aramark Ireland
- Sinead O Connor – HR Business Partner, Debenhams Ireland
- Ewelina O Reilly – Dispenser at Boots and Apprentice on the Apprenticeship in Retail Supervision programme
The recent launch of the Apprenticeship in Retail Supervision came to a close with networking and a shared appreciation for what this programme can do for people working in the retail sector. As advocates for work-based training and education in the retail sector since 2000, the recent launch of the Apprenticeship in Retail Supervision has signalled a new dawn for attracting, retaining and upskilling people in retail. Thank you to all the retailers and collaborating partners that attended the recent launch, it is encouraging for everyone here at Retail Ireland Skillnet to have your support.
For retailers interested in getting involved: The Apprenticeship in Retail Supervision is primarily targeting existing retail employees who have been identified as future managers. Retail Ireland Skillnet can only take applications for the Apprenticeship in Retail Supervision from retailers. School leavers and career switchers interested in enrolling on this programme should secure retail employment with a retailer willing to sponsor them over the two years.
The programme commences annually with registrations for September 2020 accepted from retailers from January 2020. To complete the registration your interest visit https://www.retailirelandskillnet.com/apprenticeship/employer/ or contact the Retail Ireland Skillnet team on 074 9176853.