Sunday, 4 September 2011

The NEXT big thing

Finally a leading high street retailer making a difference to the future careers of our current and future generation! Retail giant Next have released details earlier on today that they are to launch an apprenticeship scheme that could employ upto 1,000 young career seekers into the ever changing world of retail.

Next chief executive Lord Wolfson said it will not be possible to judge the scheme's success for at least six months when the performance of those recruited can be measured. As many people who work in retail know, you don't have to start off with an academic background to succeed - just to have the passion and drive for the field is an initial requirement and the business sense can be learnt on the job.

Lord Wolfson is eager to support youngsters

Lord Wolfson then went on to say "You don't have to have an academic background to succeed in retail. This is about getting away from the idea that you need a degree to have a successful career. We hope to show that someone training from the age of 17 without a degree can succeed."

Not only does this offer a glimmer of hope for all of those eager to start jobs when they leave either school or college, it also gives the retail industry another chance to improve itself. Young people often have lots of brilliant ideas that would refresh brands and bring them back to life and for a huge fashion retail icon like Next to launch an apprenticeship scheme shows their willingness to support the younger generation and to push their own brand boundaries.

Apprenticeships will start off in the heart of retail - on the shop floor;
 then who knows where they will end up within the business?

I think its fantastic that the Next Chief Exectutive Lord Wolfson believes that you don't have to go to university to be a success in life. With the rise in tuition fees scheduled for next year, many youngsters are worrying they will never become 'something' without a degree. However, I have to disagree. Higher Education has become so easy to get into that the "eliteness" that once was someone possessing a degree is now non-existant.

Will there be opportunities for budding designers? Visual Merchandisers? Buyers?

To have the opportunity of training with a sought after fashion and homeware brand on your CV, imagine the possibilities and opportunities it would open up for the lucky candidates. I can't wait to read about the development of the program and see how it shapes the future of retail....

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