Kirkby retail academy launched

Knowsley Council said up to 1,500 people are expected to be helped into employment with the launch of a new retail academy in Kirkby.

The academy offers hands-on retail, warehousing and logistics training to jobseekers in the region and is opening its doors to trainees wanting to find work in the sector.

The academy is a 10,500 sq ft replica of a working supermarket and warehouse, down to details such as newspaper stands and cash in tills.

Courses will equip candidates with all the skills they need, including health and safety training, stock control, storage of goods and customer services.

The academy was created after discussions between the council's Knowsley Works team and Express Direct Training, which secured funding to develop its idea.

The Knowsley Works team helped the company secure stock from other companies in the borough and liaise with potential employers.

Candidates will be referred from Knowsley Works or the Jobcentre, and can even refer themselves if they are looking for an opportunity in retail and are currently in receipt of benefits.

As well as retail training, trainees will also be able to work towards qualifications in literacy and numeracy while at the academy.

Cllr Dave Lonergan, cabinet member for regeneration, economy and skills, said: "A facility like this is great news for Knowsley, as it gives local people access to the kind of training which hugely increases their chance of gaining employment.

"Especially at this time, when there are exciting developments on the horizon such as the Tesco development in Kirkby, this kind of academy can really help local people access work. Even if they have been out of work for a long time or feel they currently lack the necessary skills and experience, this is an opportunity to make themselves extremely employable."

The project cost was not disclosed.

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How many trainees have actually gained a job after training with this company ? Not included the staff who have completed the course.

By Anne

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