How Apprenticeships Can Help Build the Future Retail Workforce

Did you know that a recent study has shown that retailers may struggle to fill the thousands of new roles that will be required in business within the next four years?

When an entire industry faces a change, it goes without saying that it impacts everyone involved in the area, one way or another. And the retail industry has undergone significant and drastic changes over the past few years and is still continuously changing today.

Therefore, the skills required from retailers as well as all others employed in the retail industry keep changing too.

So, if you want to ensure your retail store survives the wave of change and continues to flourish, you must take the necessary measures to equip your workforce accordingly.

How can you achieve that?

The answer is simple: apprenticeship programs.

An apprenticeship is an important tool in the future retail workforce’s arsenal. But many retailers haven’t realized it yet.

Despite the initial costs it might incur, an apprenticeship plays a vital role in improving any business.

Therefore, they can also help your retail business develop and prosper as you equip people of all age groups with the particular skills you need as an employer.

What does an apprenticeship include?

An apprenticeship is just like any regular job, except that it includes formal on-the-job training as well.

An apprentice must spend at least 20% of their work time in training, which is usually provided by a senior employee or a trainer. Besides teaching the apprentice the required skills, it also enables them to gain a license to practice in a regulated profession.

How can an apprenticeship help your retail business?

Apprentices contribute to organizational growth by bringing in fresh ideas, energy, and enthusiasm.

It encourages those currently working in retail to progress their careers in the industry by strengthening their skills and abilities, whereas it attracts new employees to enter the sector by promising them a bright future.

Research has shown that almost 80% of employers confirmed that productivity rose once they took on an apprenticeship program and that it also developed the skills relevant to their organization.

Did you know that more than one-third of all employees in the retail industry are aged 25 or under? And more than half are part-time workers?

While this means, and as is often observed too, that retail workers will quickly switch when they find a better employment opportunity, it also means that they have the potential to become a strong future workforce if given a chance to upskill and diversify their talent pool.

So, if offered an apprenticeship, not only will it increase your employees’ satisfaction but also reduce staff turnover and therefore save you from incurring recruitment costs.

Given how fast technology is advancing and becoming more and more integrated into daily life, one can only wonder how it will revolutionize the retail sector.

Hence, to secure a strong and skillful retail workforce for the future, you must introduce apprenticeship programs that merge retail requirements with skills such as software development, digital marketing, and cyber security and so on.