As a retail apprentice, your role will depend on your employer. You could be assisting customers on the sales floor of a high street store or handling their purchases. Alternatively, you could be working in a specialist department and become a product expert, able to help with specific queries.
An artistic flare could point you in the direction of visual merchandising, helping to create window and in-store displays. Or you could work behind the scenes in stock handling; ensuring products are received in the correct quantities and appropriately stored. With a young workforce, the UK’s retail sector is vibrant and offers many opportunities for early career progression.
Available as level 2 Standard, the main purpose of a retailer is to assist customers when they purchase products and services, which requires a good understanding of the stock being sold, the variety of ways customers can shop and the ability to process payments, for example, using a till. Retailers must be passionate about delivering a quality service that always aims to exceed customers’ expectations. Therefore, retailers enjoy direct contact with a wide range of people and are motivated by completing a sale and knowing a customer is happy with their purchase. They can work in a variety of shops and other retail establishments: small boutiques, large high street chains, supermarkets and well-known department stores are just some examples. More specialist retailers include funeral services, garden centres, delicatessens and people who work in remote environments for example in telephone, on-line and mail order retail. Regardless of the type of products and services being sold, a wide representation of employers from across the retail industry have defined this standard and agreed that the knowledge, skills and behaviours that apprentices must have to do their job are the same. The apprenticeships duration is 12 months on program.