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Scope collaborates with Fashion Retail Academy on apprenticeship programme

Tom Shearsmith
30 September 2022

Disability equality charity Scope is launching its first Retail Gamechanger Apprenticeship programme with Fashion Retail Academy.

The fixed term apprenticeship placement scheme will support four disabled people seeking a career in the retail industry, offering work in their local Scope charity shop during the one year programme.

The programme has been created by Scope’s Retail team and rolls out on 3 October. Upon completion the apprentices will gain a level 3 Retail Team Leader Apprenticeship standard.

The charity has collaborated with the Fashion Retail Academy who will provide the training regarding the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for this qualification, supporting the practical experience the apprentices will gain working in a Scope charity shop.

The FRA has partnered with charity retailers in the past, but this is the first time they have supported an apprenticeship programme exclusively available to disabled candidates.

Apprentices will gain the skills and confidence to find permanent employment and during their work placement activities. Throughout the programme, apprentices will receive training in retail finance, sales, customer service, marketing and communications.

Scope will be placing the apprentices in shops to suit their accessibility requirements and is coordinating necessary adjustments though Access to Work. Four apprentices will be working in their local shops in Dewsbury, Durham, Hackney and Liverpool.

Through this programme, Scope aims to provide an exemplary programme for other retailers.

Fabiola Osei-Hwedieh, Head of Apprenticeship at the Fashion Retail Academy, said: “The Fashion Retail Academy is very excited to build on our strategic partnership with Scope to launch the Retail Gamechanger apprenticeship programme for aspiring Retail Team Leaders of the future. The first of its kind, this tailored programme offers disabled young people the opportunity to learn and achieve their full potential beyond their expectations.

“This programme will be delivered by a handpicked team who have the relevant academic and industry experience. A dedicated Programme Manager will oversee delivery and learner progress, and dependent on expertise and also teach on programme. A range of tutors will teach the modules relevant to their experience.

“We recognise that every learner is unique and has a personal academic journey and we will support this journey through a curriculum that meets their needs of whilst enhancing employability and career opportunities. The FRA delivery team will work with apprentices to develop a broad range of knowledge, skills and behaviours that they need to thrive in their next steps in the retail industry.”

Debbie Boylen, Head of Retail at Scope, added: “We know how hard it is for disabled people to gain and remain in permanent employment. Even at a time of record employment, only half of working age disabled people are in work.

“There is a huge amount of disabled talent and potential which companies aren’t tapping into. At Scope, we know that employers who recognise disabled people’s talent in the workplace will thrive. We believe Retail Gamechanger Apprenticeships will be provide an exemplary programme for other retailers to learn from.”

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