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People 1st announce call for nominations to new Retail Apprenticeship Board

24 August 2016

Workforce development expert, People 1st, is urging businesses of all sizes that are passionate about skills and apprenticeships to nominate representatives to join the new Retail Apprenticeship Board, recognised by government to ensure the industry’s apprenticeships stay fit for purpose.

The Retail Apprenticeship Board will have a critical role overseeing the external quality assurance of the independent assessment that takes place at the end of the apprenticeship. People 1st, who were nominated by employers to manage the external quality assurance process, will be accountable to the board.

Each member of the board will play a significant part in helping to ensure that the three new employer-driven retail apprenticeship standards remain high quality and fit for purpose for all businesses across the industry. This is critical when considering the industry needs more than 224,000 managers by 2024, in order to operate effectively and remain competitive.

Annette Allmark, director of strategic policy at People 1st comments: 

“The retail industry is leading the way when it comes to taking ownership of apprenticeship quality. Joining the board presents a huge opportunity to businesses and individuals that want an instrumental role in the future of retail apprenticeships.

“The board will be made up of a diverse range of industry representatives and in addition to those with learning and development backgrounds, we are hoping that people with expertise in operations, communication and finance will also join. Members will be responsible for championing   apprenticeships within their networks encouraging growth and best practice delivery.”

External quality assurance will check the consistency of assessment material and the vocational competence of independent assessors, as well how internal quality processes and reporting are managed.

Lloyd Thomas, group apprenticeship manager at The Co-Op and chair of the retail trailblazer explains:

“External quality assurance is critical because it will pick up any inconsistencies in assessment and ensure a high level of quality is maintained and that apprentices are achieving the standard. Most importantly it will give employers, apprentices and the public in general, confidence in how the apprenticeship is assessed.” 

A total of 15 positions will be available on the board and the closing date for applications is 7 October 2016.

To find out more about what being a member of the board involves and to influence the future of retail apprenticeships, make your nomination here.