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Major retailers gather to promote apprenticeships

Published: Wednesday, 11 March 2009   Category: Retail

More than 80 major retailers have gathered at a conference to encourage others to utilise the wealth of talent that can be harnessed through apprenticeships and to provide more graduate jobs.

The Skillsmart Retail Apprenticeship event was held at London's Excel Centre during National Apprenticeship Week late in February to emphasise the importance of investing in new talent.

Skillsmart Retail's employer engagement director Simon Blower said: "The very strongest brands we see are the organisations that are investing now in people and their brand so they can really take advantage of the economic upturn when it comes."

Major supermarket chain Tesco, which took on 2,000 apprentices last year, said that trainees who take on apprenticeships with the company receive a multitude of "real-life" skills and that apprentices are beneficial to businesses.

Council leaders have recently called for more government money to fund apprenticeships with local authorities for people like graduates.

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