Merseyside-based shopping centre Liverpool One has this week opened a new £170,000 retail skills training centre, which will offer qualifications, courses and development opportunities for those working in the retail industry.
Dubbed Academy One, the new facility will also offer apprenticeships and has already partnered with a number of renowned retail names such as Asda, Debenhams and TK Maxx.
The centre is a training alliance between Liverpool One, the National Skills Academy for Retail and North West training provider Scientiam, and is viewed as a positive addition to the retail, restaurant and entertainment mix already on offer at the shopping hub.
Lorna Dainton, Retail Sector Lead for Academy One, said: “The visitor economy sector as a whole in Merseyside is expected to generate a minimum of £2.1 billion and 37,000 jobs by 2020.
“Currently, however, retail is not a high performing sector in terms of productivity.
“Retailers can therefore gain significant business profit and growth by developing their workforce to adopt more efficient and effective working skills and practices.”
Leader of Liverpool City Council Joe Anderson, who opened the complex alongside local fashion designer Kirsty Doyle, welcomed the arrival of Academy One and offered his ongoing support to the project.
“Liverpool is known for its warm welcome but Academy One will greatly enhance our retail offering and customer service levels to both outside visitors and shoppers from our own region,” he explained.
Retail Gazette learned earlier this month that measures to help the unemployed and retail staff will also being implemented at Westfield Stratford City shopping centre when it opens this September.
The Westfield-owned site will be home to its own Retail Academy, which aims to place 2,000 long-term unemployed people into new jobs as well as play an ongoing part in the training and development of people living and working in east London.