Ireland's first national apprenticeship programme for retail launched

November 20, 2019

Retail Ireland Skillnet, the Ibec group that develops and delivers training and education programmes for those in the retail sector, has launched Ireland’s first national apprenticeship programme for the sector. This landmark programme is notable for its 52% female participation rate, compared to an average of just 5% across other apprenticeship schemes in Ireland. 

Speaking at the launch today, Director of Retail Ireland, Thomas Burke outlined: “Acquisition and retention of talent has become increasingly difficult across all sectors in Ireland as the economy experiences an increasingly tightening labour market. 

“In response, national retailers have come together to collaborate in the development of Ireland’s first National Apprenticeship for the retail sector. The Apprenticeship in Retail Supervision programme provides a new and exciting opportunity to attract and retain talented individuals in the industry, while helping further define clear career paths for those in the sector, assisting them on a path towards management roles in the industry. The programme employs an “Earn as You Learn” model, inspired by similar German apprenticeship programmes.  

“This much-needed programme also addresses contemporary issues facing the domestic retail industry, including increasingly demanding consumers, technological advances and globalised competition. To navigate the skill requirements of the future, this two-year programme develops the human, digital and retail specific skills knowledge, skills and competencies to excel in retail.”

SOLAS, the State Body with the responsibility for funding, planning and co-ordinating Further Education and Training, provides funding for the programme which ensures there is no registration fee for employers and apprentices.