Great opportunity for retail workers

Costa
Costa

A training programme is currently underway at Giltbrook Retail Park to offer career opportunities to young people.

Seven aspiring shop workers, aged 16 to 24, have been offered training placements at Boots, Decathlon, Costa and Aston and Fincher.

The ‘Bright Lights’ programme has been funded by the owners of the Giltbrook Retail Park, British Land, who have previously ran it successfully at several of their other sites across the UK.

Gail Sutton, centre manager at Giltbrook, said: “The Giltbrook community is important to me.

“It’s important we look at 16 to 24-year-olds coming into the market place, and widen our community spirit.

“It’s a really exciting programme and the first time we have delivered it in Giltbrook.

“It offers the apprentices a good solid base in a working environment, allowing them to experience working with colleagues and customers, and that experience you have from the start of the day to the end of the day, and the comradery you build up.

“It gives them the good grounding of how to speak to people and interact.”

The course is full time, with the young people combining full-time work in their given outlet, with classroom learning.

Sue McFarlane works for The Source Skills Academy – a skills and training provider selected to run the programme.

She said: “We want to engage with 16 to 24-year-olds in the local community and support them into work.

“Anybody who is not currently in employment, training or education who has an interest in retail and hospitality.

“It’s a mix of work placement and classroom-based work, which they do in a meeting room at Decathlon. They are working towards a retail qualification, learning all about health and safety and also customer services.”

Throughout the course, trainees will also get access to training from industry experts, support with interviews and CV writing, as well as a personal mentor.

“People on the course will not only come out with a qualification, but will hopefully be offered a contract as well,” said Ms McFarlane.

The seven candidates begin classroom work this week, and then start their placement in-store next week.

British Land ran the programme at several sites last year and it was so successful, they doubled the size of it for this year.

The same five-week programme has been running at other sites across the UK since May.

Mrs Sutton said: “The programme coincides with busy recruitment periods at the centre so we, together with our retailers, can’t wait to help them really kickstart their careers.”

Dianne Wainwright, head of operations at The Source Skills Academy, said: “We’re giving local young people the chance to obtain nationally recognised qualifications and work experience at some of the country’s biggest retail and hospitality brands.”

Trainees will receive their formal qualifications at a celebration at the DoubleTree Hotel in Nuthall on October 20.