BRC argues a career in retail is an attractive alternative to university
The British Retail Consortium is hosting a debate at the Labour Party Conference today to highlight how retail can be an attractive alternative to university for today's school leavers.
Entitled "Universities Challenged: is the world of work now the best option post-16?" panellists will include Mark Craig, director of corporate affairs, The Co-operative Group and Liam Preston, chairof the British Youth Council.
The BRC claims that retail is becoming an increasingly tempting option for school leavers who may be reluctant take on the financial burden associated with studying for a degree.
The consortium said that retailers account for over 12% of the UK's total training spend with an average of £1,275 average per year invested in each retail employee. This compares with a figure of just over £800 for staff in the financial sector and £1200 for those in manufacturing.
The BRC argues that a career in retail provides opportunities to develop transferable skills such as buying, marketing, customer service and management, with employers across the sector recognising the value of on-the-job learning and development.
British Retail Consortium director general, Stephen Robertson, said: "Many young people considering university will be worried about building up huge debts which will take years to pay off. An alternative is to get a job which gives access to training and personal development funded by an employer while also picking up a salary. That option is getting more attractive all the time.
"In retail you really can start on the shop floor and work your way to the top. Many well-known retail chief executives have done just that."
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