LDO retail Skills Academy boosts graduates' earnings and careers
Based at Wembley Park, the outlet centre said demand is so high that this year’s courses are already oversubscribed.
Funded by Quintain as part of a wider commitment to regenerate Wembley Park, the training has seen 57% of graduates on one course improve their earnings.
Since joining one of three Skills Academy courses, nearly half of participants have taken on a more senior role with increased responsibilities at LDO’s retailers, including Marks & Spencer and Clarks. With the courses accredited by City and Guilds, each of the 38 graduates from the Academy left with a recognised certificate.
The Academy delivered three 12-week courses from September 2015 to May 2016, consisting of two modules: Service & Standards, and Selling Skills in Retail.
Using course content created by retail training specialist The Inspiration Group, the training programmes aimed to enhance participants’ understanding of the retail sector and the career opportunities it offers.
Each individual was also provided with a tailored training plan, as well as close mentoring to help them move to the next step in their retail career.
LDO Skills Academy has now begun to recruit for the next academic year.
Quintain, which provides premises for the training, secured funding for the Skills Academy from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills in 2015.
Sue Shepherd, centre manager at LDO, said: “We are thrilled to have had such encouraging results from our first Skills Academy’s this year. It is something LDO takes real pride in and we believe is of huge importance in supporting the careers of those employed here at LDO, which will in turn assure LDO’s ongoing success. The skills learned by graduates have undoubtedly had a positive on the guest experience at LDO, and that is down to the dedication and commitment of both our graduates and mentors.”
Carly Mason, store manager at Clarks Outlet, added: “Having three of my sales team members attend the Skills Academy has had a huge impact in store and on the individuals themselves. I have seen all those who graduated become a lot more confident and interested in their roles in the Sales Team.”
The one-year anniversary of the Skills Academy comes after LDO reported that in the four weeks after the Brexit vote, it registered a 14% increase in visitor numbers compared with the same period in 2015. Meanwhile, like-for-like sales rose by 24%.
In the last few months there have also been a number of new store openings by the likes of TM Lewin, Jacks Wills, Fiorelli, Franklin & Marshall, Levi’s and Sony.
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