Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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Matalan helps job-seekers to get back on career ladder
Article Type: Notes and news From: Industrial and Commercial Training, Volume 43, Issue 7
Unemployed people who live in or around Crawley are being invited to complete a free pre-employment program as a fast-track to secure an interview at the town’s new Matalan store.
Matalan has committed 75 interview slots for unemployed people who have successfully completed the Skillsmart Retail Works pre-employment program through the Central South-East Skills Shop, part of the National Skills Academy for Retail’s UK-wide network of retail-skill shops.
Retail Works is a training course offered across the UK to those who want to get into retail, whether for the first time or after a period out of work. Over 30 hours, participants get the tools they need to succeed in retail, including product knowledge, selling skills, customer-service techniques and health and safety training.
Since the UK-wide program began in 2009, more than 20,000 people have attended the course. In 2010 an independent survey found that 53 percent of Retail Works candidates found employment because of the knowledge learned on the program.
Jane Rexworthy, head of the National Skills Academy for Retail, said: “This is a great opportunity for those who want to get into retail in the Crawley area, but perhaps lack previous experience. Retail Works gets people back into work and provides retailers such as Matalan with employees who have the skills, confidence and knowledge to work in the retail sector.”
Kevin Hollingworth, talent and recruitment manager for Matalan, said: “We know that there are plenty of people who have the passion to work for a fashion retailer, good communication skills and the potential to offer excellent customer service, but have not worked in retail before. Through Retail Works we can gain access to these individuals and give them the opportunity to work in the retail sector. As employers we recruit people who are committed and have the basic knowledge that they need, right from the start.”