Retail Industry Calls for Specialist Skills

Retail Industry Calls for Specialist SkillsWhilst the retail sector has been hit by some large store closures, accounting for the loss of thousands of jobs, it’s not all doom and gloom for careers in the retail industry.

What it does mean is that if you’re out of work, then you’d do well to brush up on your computer skills, and that’s what some of large high street retailers are helping people to do.

 “Some specialist areas such as visual merchandising and IT are seeing a shortage of candidates with the right skills.” –       

Quote from Jane Rexworthy: Head of the National Skills Academy for Retail.

Looking over any retail news related articles, will give you an indication on the direction the retail sector is taking. With a rise in jobs requiring computer knowledge, window dressings, market research analysts, among other specialist retail jobs, you can easily see how it’s advantageous to have the right skills and qualifications that employers are seeking in their staff.

The National Skills Academy for Retail is working closely with leading retailers around the country to encourage people to take up available training opportunities.

High street chains involved in training schemes include:

–        Tesco

–        Boots

–        House of Fraser

–        John Lewis

–        Waitrose

To date, there have been over 50 skills shops set up, in a bid to assist people, with the necessary training skills and development needed to thrive in the retail sector. While there are still developments planned to roll out across the country, for those who aren’t in an area yet to have a skills shop brought to you locally, you can find more information from

Local job centres are also set to include more training for those in the retail sector.

For those of you looking for career advancement, you can find that there is a rise in the major retailers who need co-ordinators to distribute their stock and manage stock inventory.

Some of this work involves using sophisticated computer software, to track sales in real-time enabling buyers and merchandisers, to source the necessary stock for replenishing a large number of stores. Specialist skills like those are where there’s currently a shortage of staff with the right skills.

Got experience in retail and out of work?

If you have, then it may be time to look into further education to branch out into specialist areas. Check out some of the high street chains, leading job boards and perhaps even your local newspaper, to see which types of jobs and skills are in demand.

When you know that, you’ll be able to take decisive action and brush up your skills, gain the necessary and relevant qualifications to further your career within the retail sector. There’s no point in working your way through a career only to give up and change direction.

The retail industry is fast evolving as consumer behaviour changes. As consumers change the way they buy things, sales representatives need to change with the times and move in the direction of the consumer needs. After all, the retail industry about serving the customer to the best of your ability, and to do that, you will need the right training and qualifications. The retail industry moves 24/7 as there’s also the production and manufacturing goes on, behind the scenes.

It’s not all shop floor work, and as production grows, distribution networks grow with it, and so too do the number of stores. The high street in your area may look as though the retail industry’s hit an all time low, but the larger retailers dominate the UK high street, and those are the key employers to look for work with.

Keep an eye on the skills they look for in their staffing requirements and then tailor your training to place your services in demand.