Liverpool-based retail skills shop Academy One has appointed a new senior trainer as part of its ambitious growth strategy, it was announced this week.
Maureen Scollins will coordinate and run a range of retail skills programmes for all ages, including apprenticeships, NVQs, and customer service and retail skills qualifications in her new role.
Scollins is currently working with retailers including Argos and TK Maxx, to recruit and train staff ready for the pre-Christmas shopping rush.
The skills centre was launched earlier this year in partnership with Merseyside-based shopping centre Liverpool One, the National Skills Academy for Retail and north-west training provider Scientiam.
Offering qualifications, courses and development opportunities for those working in the retail industry, the academy is the product of an investment of more than £170,000.
“I am very excited by the new role at Academy One, as I have a real passion for retail training,” Scollins commented.
“Quality customer service is absolutely essential to retain customers and my job is to make sure we train up new and existing staff to the highest level of competence.
“I have been involved in retail training since I left school, learning my trade at Lewis’s in Liverpool before moving to London. I started at the House of Fraser group and was promoted after a few years to HR manager for the House of Fraser Victoria branch, looking after 1,000 employees.”
Earlier this week, the north-west was reported to have seen a decrease in footfall over the month of September, with Experian research revealing a year-on-year decrease between -3.3 per cent and -4.3 per cent.
With key experience in staff training, Scollins’s appointment comes as the centre is expanding its scope, offering help to retail and hospitality businesses across north and south Liverpool, Sefton and Knowsley.
“With the launch of the Liverpool One retail centre, Liverpool has rocketed up as a destination for shopping and leisure, and customer service is key to keeping people coming back to the city,” Scollins added.
“There is a real opportunity to make Liverpool one of the premier places to shop in the UK, we just need to invest in training and ensure that our staff give shoppers the best experience possible.”