retail assistant

The benefits of apprenticeships and staff training in retail

Find out how apprenticeships can be used for different retail roles.

The benefits of apprenticeships and staff training in retail

Apprenticeships and staff training go hand-in-hand. 

Some businesses prefer official apprenticeships, while others like the personalised skillset they can create through staff training. But there's no shortcut – the only way to get all the benefits of apprenticeships and staff training is to do both. 

In the new world of apprenticeships, it's all change. Employers can interpret apprenticeship standards in a way that helps their business – so they can make staff training part of the apprenticeship itself. Clever, right?  

Let's take a tour of your typical retailer, and see how to combine apprenticeships and staff training for each team member. 

Shop floor

Meet the retail assistants. They spend all day on their feet helping customers – so the last thing they want is a whopping pile of work to complete when they get home. That means the best way to combine staff training with apprenticeships is to make it fun: gamify, incentivise, reward. Build the knowledge, skills and behaviours for your staff into the Retail assistant apprenticeship standard – that way your staff can whizz round the shop floor capturing practical evidence of their KSBs on-the-job, and still get home in time for Eastenders.  


From packaging to delivery, warehouse staff focus on targets. This means they need to maximise their time on the job, so it can be tempting to sack off training to boost targets. But the warehouse can be a risk assessor's nightmare, so health and safety training for staff is of utmost importance. Luckily, apprenticeships ask learners to demonstrate health and safety awareness, too – so by offering a health and safety session as off-the-job training, you've saved time, and ensured the safety of your staff. 

Head office

Head office is always buzzing with loads of people doing loads of different jobs. You've got everyone from call centre staff to buyers to marketing to the CEO – so how can you keep them all happy when it comes to training? Well, there are apprenticeship standards for a whole range of job roles, so find out where your staff want their careers to go, and use your apprenticeship levy funds to help them on their way. 71% of apprentices stay with the same employer, so you'll have a whole army of loyal staff if you invest in them. You can also use training days as an opportunity for different teams to get to know one another – everyone loves a chinwag, so open the floor and watch staff satisfaction soar. 

The management

We know that sounds a bit Ray Winstone, but the truth is that large retail companies employ managers and team leaders across the entire business. Management is a pretty big deal, and the Retail Management degree apprenticeship is still in development at the time of writing. But we know you're itching to get going, so you can always get some of your budding managers trained up to become team leaders in the meantime – the Retail team leader standard is done, dusted, and ready to be delivered. If you work with a management coach, build their sessions into the apprenticeship tasks – it's perfect for off-the-job training. 

The beauty of staff training and apprenticeships is that you can use tech to track both of them – if you use the right eportfolio. Download our guide to see how our award-winning eportfolio can help your staff stay on track and complete their training in record time. 

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This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
so this research is to be used at the reader's discretion. OneFile is not liable for any action taken based on this research.