Apprenticeships are key to attracting new employees in retail

The number of young people undertaking traineeships, apprenticeships and securing jobs in retail has increased significantly in the first-year post pandemic, according to new data from Qube Learning.

In the year 2020/21, the number of people who started traineeships in retail via Qube increased by nearly a fifth, 17 per cent; and 91 per cent completed their course, an 11 per cent increase on completions over the previous 2019/20 pandemic year.

Of those who completed their traineeships, 63 per cent went on to secure a permanent job in retail – also an 11 per cent increase on the previous year.

Just over a third, 37 per cent, of 2020/21 trainees progressed to full apprenticeships, over double that of the previous year when just 15 per cent committed to an apprenticeship at the end of their training.

To encourage more young people to give retail a chance, Qube applied its ‘Apply, Try, Fly’ mantra designed to help potential recruits over those all-important first hurdles.

Commenting on the data and Qube’s bespoke approach, Adrian Grove, Business Development director, Qube, said: “These figures should be very reassuring for retailers who were hit hard by the pandemic and then struggled to attract new recruits.

“With the right approach, new employees can and do progress very quickly in the retail sector but to attract them in the first instance, employers must demonstrate how they help build careers and gain qualifications.

“This means taking a long-term approach to career development. We aim to dispel the myth that young people, or those not currently in work, only want portfolio careers. Many actually do want a two-to-six-year career path and the retail sector is well placed to provide this. In some instances, the right person can actually progress to a management role in just two years and this is very appealing to people.”

Qube believes that getting on that first rung is the biggest challenge for potential employees and it is here that the company really goes the extra mile. Bespoke programmes which address many initial barriers are created. For some this may be as simple as a confidence-building, good luck text on that all important first day, while for others it could be help with journey planning to and from work, or help negotiating hours and shifts that work for both themselves and their employer.

“It’s important that our trainees understand that we’re there for them throughout their training, not just their first few days or weeks, and we will work with them to develop long term career plans,” concludes Adrian.

“Our new figures show that our Apply, Try and Fly mantra is a very real prospect, proven to deliver for both employee and employer,””

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