The recession has hit the retail sector very hard with some long-established names going out of business. The retail industry has changed a lot with some products being sold more on the internet than ever before.
In the East of England the sector employs approximately 290,000 people in just under 25,000 workplaces. Retailing and distribution employ around 19% of the Fenland workforce. Retailing is a major employer in Peterborough. In the Huntingdonshire area over 12% of the workforce is employed in retail sales.
The retail sector accounts for more than 10% of jobs in England. Tesco is the UK’s second-largest employer after the National Health Service.
There is an increasing trend for jobs in retail to be part-time. More females work part-time than males, with 69% of women working less than 30 hours a week compared with 42% of men. There are fast track opportunities for those with drive and ambition.
Formal qualifications are not always necessary - candidates can learn on the job. Retailers tend to be more interested in experience and skills.
What we think will happen
Even though the sector has seen growth over the last few years current forecasts for its future are uncertain. A growth in retail spending will rely on a growth of the UK economy as a whole.
The main influences on this sector will be: consumer confidence; the growth of e commerce; ICT; price competition and globalisation; regulations and the ever increasing importance of customer service. All these things will have an effect on the way people work and the skills needed.
Managers will need to be more skilled and better qualified. Ethical retailing – the purchases of ‘fair trade’ and organic products will increase.
On-line trading is likely to increase.
New qualifications, called Diplomas, are being introduced in the next three years. These will help people prepare for university, college or work. There will be a Retail Business Diploma which will be available from September 2010.
Is this you?
- Well organised
- Good communication skills
- Enjoy working with people
- Customer service focused
What 16 year olds did in 2008
In 2008 a total of 504 year 11 school leavers from local schools started full-time employment or work-based training. Of this number, 78 went into retail sales and customer service related work. Nearly 16% of all year 11 local school leavers went into this sort of work.
Jobs in this area
- Buyer/Purchasing Officer
- Customer Service Manager/Assistant
- Personal Shopper
- Store Manager
- Training Officer
- Visual Merchandiser
How much could I earn?
- Call Centre Agent/Operator - £14,237
- Quality and Customer Care Manager - £37,021
- Retail and Wholesale Manager - £27,134
- Retail Cashier/Check Out Operator - £8,313
- Sales and Retail Assistant - £9,660
- Storage and Warehouse Manager - £30,899
- Transport and Distribution Manager - £42,264
Find out more
The British Retail Consortium
Skillsmart Retail is the Sector Skills Council for retail
Skills for Logistics is the Sector Skills Council for freight logistics and wholesaling industry
Written by Red Bridge Solutions Ltd http://www.redbridgesolutions.co.uk