Academy ONE Retail Skills Shop helps Debenhams Learners
retail, Academy ONE
Laura Kelly and Chelsea Draper are among the first batch of retail trainees to gain qualifications through Academy ONE’s training programmes. Laura, 22, from Kirkdale, has been working at Debenhams since November 2008, while Chelsea, 19, from Netherton, has worked at the retail giant for more than two years.
Both Laura and Kelly work in Debenhams’ visual merchandising department and studied for the Retail Skills Diploma Level 2 qualification. They worked closely with Academy ONE tutors to progress through the course. Laura first started as a temp during the festive season but was soon taken on full time.She said: “I have always been interested in visual merchandising and did a degree at Hugh Baird for three years in the subject before joining Debenhams. I heard through our manager that the training was available and was interested straight away. It’s an extra step on the ladder, has expanded my knowledge and will look good on my CV.
“Chelsea and I were assessed mainly through our work on the shop floor, but we also got to go over to the Academy ONE training centre for some of the course. We really enjoyed it as we would rather learn by doing on the job training than be sat in a classroom.”
Chelsea added: “There is a ‘mock shop’ at Academy ONE where we had to dress mannequins as if we were doing a high street front window. This was part of our course and was good experience to learn about the different ways of positioning and marketing clothes for different departments. “Our Academy ONE tutor Lorna Dainton has really helped us to gain the qualification and has offered lots of support and advice. It has been a real learning curve and everyone on the course has developed both as individuals and as part of a team.
“I feel a lot more confident and have had some great feedback on my work from my supervisors. If a chance comes to train further than I would definitely take it; I want to step up and progress in the business and the retail qualification will help me to do this.”Laura and Chelsea’s tutor Lorna Dainton said: “Both girls have really developed their retail skills and have been a delight to work with, I’m very proud that they have gained their qualifications. Academy ONE offers a variety of retail training programmes to benefit people of all abilities and we want to work with more employers to develop skills across the region’s retail sector.”
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