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Retail qualifications get a re-style


Retail qualifications are to be overhauled in a bid to make them less complicated and incorporate more in-house training, following a Skillsmart Retail strategy reform.

The Sector Qualifications Strategy for Retail was agreed by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) this month. It hopefully spells an end to the current complex qualifications system and align qualifications to in-house training and current business practices - meaning more employers can offer recognised qualifications as part of their own training schemes.

Beverley Paddey, head of standards and qualifications at Skillsmart Retail, said: "Under this new strategy, all retail qualifications will be rationalised into a set of national qualifications with consistent titling, making it more straight forward for employers to help their staff to get transferable qualifications.

"Our research also shows that staff with qualifications feel more valued and are more likely to stay with their employer. The easier access that the strategy promises will encourage employees and retailers to take them up, which can only be a good thing."

David Richardson, learning and development manager at House of Fraser, added: "The new strategy will be a great way to really build skills and aid retention within the retail sector. It seems to be a much more pragmatic approach, where the qualifications can be tailored to match what businesses are already doing, and therefore working more in partnership with retail businesses and helping them develop the skills of their teams."

The new scheme, which will be rolled out over the next two years also hopes to make qualifications more flexible as well as reducing the red tape attached to accessing funding.


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