A Hard Sell? The Prospects for Apprenticeship in British Retailing
35 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2014
Date Written: 2008
We consider the prospects for apprenticeship in British retailing, in terms of the contribution of apprenticeship to intermediate skills and the contribution of large employers to the Advanced Apprenticeship (AA) programme. Evidence is taken from interviews with training and HR managers from 17 large employers. We find that AA is for the most part unpopular with large retailers, who prefer to acquire intermediate skills through the upgrade training of existing employees through bespoke, in-house training programmes and, to a lesser degree, via the recruitment of skilled workers. The one exception to this rule is to be found in the convenience stores sub-sector of retailing, where the breadth of skills supplied by AA fits in well with employers’ requirements. Even here, however, the scale of Apprenticeship is limited, both in terms of the numbers of Apprentices being trained and also in terms of employers’ own investment in the training of their Apprentices.
Keywords: Apprenticeship, human capital, training, skills, human resource management, education, retailing.
JEL Classification: D21, I20, I21, I28, J31, J41, J42.
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