Search on for retail’s own Apprentice star

tony-lukeWhile the nation watches Alan Sugar’s prime time TV search for his number one Apprentice, Skillsmart Retail is hunting for retail’s own Apprentice star.

The Sector Skills Council is looking for entrants for its Retail Apprentice of the Year Award, an annual prize designed to seek out the very best retail Apprentice in the country.

The award comes as Apprenticeships increase in popularity in a range of industries including retail with companies including B&Q, Sainsbury’s, Superdrug and Tesco taking part in the programme.

Now in its third year, the award celebrates the achievements of retail apprentices and their employers and culminates in the glitzy Retail Week Rising Stars dinner on 10 September at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

Last year’s finalists included Tony Luke, who set up his own retail business aged just 16, and the overall winner, Steven Jenkins of Southern Co-operatives who overcame his dyslexia to take part in the programme. Upon winning, Steven said: “The Apprenticeship gave me the skills and knowledge to progress and completely changed my career. To win this award was just the icing on the cake. It was an indescribable feeling.”

This year’s award is open to retail apprentices in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales at Level 2 or 3.

Applicants must have either participated in or completed a Retail Apprenticeship or Modern Apprenticeship between 2008 and 2009 and all entries must be endorsed by the Apprentice’s employer.

The deadline for entries is 15 June.

More info go to www.skillsmartretail.com/ retailapprenticeaward