25,000 retail workers needed in Wales in next seven years Careers Wales research reveals
Careers Wales is raising awareness of careers in retail as research shows Wales will need 8,000 more retail managers and 17,000 sales and retail assistants by 2024.
Careers Wales, the all-age, careers information advice and guidance service in Wales, has launched its Spotlight on Retail – an online resource highlighting up-to-date labour market information aimed at helping inform young people’s career decisions.
The Spotlight states that one in seven of the total workforce in Wales works in the retail and wholesale sector, with UK shoppers spending £1bn a week online in March 2017, 19.5% more than in 2016.
The data also highlights a shift towards ICT-based jobs and skills needed to adapt to advances in technology, including roles such as online trading managers, cyber security consultants, and social media managers. It also names a range of other retail roles available that may be less familiar to young people, such as visual merchandisers, buyers, and digital designers.
The Spotlight shows that the UK retail workforce is predicted to increase by 1.5 million people by 2024. Jobs in demand include customer service managers and supervisors (21% growth), customer service occupations (21% growth), and managers and directors in retail and wholesale (21% growth).
It also notes how many people work in the sector in regions across Wales, with Cardiff employing 26,100 retail professionals, 12,300 in Swansea, and 9,200 in Newport. The local authority areas employing the lowest number of professionals in the industry are the Isle of Anglesey, employing around 2,600, and Blaenau Gwent, which employs 2,300.
Graham Bowd, chief executive at Careers Wales, said: “The statistics in our Spotlight highlight the buoyancy of the sector, and the likely continued growth of the industry, but also notes the range of new roles emerging as a result of new technologies. It’s also important for us to make young people aware of the range of roles available in the sector, from designers and visual merchandisers, to online brand managers and social media advisers.
“There are many different retail opportunities available across Wales – Iceland Foods’ head office is based in Flintshire and employ around 22,000 workers across the UK, and businesses like the Arcadia Group, Aldi, Next, and B&Q each offer graduate apprenticeships for young people.
“A £40 million retail and leisure complex in Merthyr Tydfil is also due to be completed by 2018 and is set to create around 400 jobs, so the employment outlook across the country is really positive.”
Dan Oakenfull, Aldi Regional Managing Director, said: “The retail industry is constantly developing in Wales, which is evident in the fact that Aldi has continued to grow in popularity across the country. There are so many different career opportunities in the sector, and we offer a range of positions within our company – from caretakers and store assistants, to apprentices and graduate programmes.
“Aldi store apprentices are trained in all aspects of retail management during their three year course, which features a mixture of in-store and theory work. The scheme offers store assistant training in year one with a salary of £165 per week, and store management training in years two and three, with the salary rising to £240 per week in year three; significantly higher than the national minimum wage for apprenticeships.
“There are also a variety of diverse skills needed to thrive in the retail industry, ranging from numeracy and planning, to problem solving and being able to work in a fast-paced environment. We would encourage anyone interested in a rewarding career to consider working in retail.”
Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James, said:
“Careers Wales’ Spotlight on Retail is a useful tool to help young people interested in the sector make informed decisions about their career. Shopping centres and retail businesses have already secured Wales’ strong reputation in the sector, and our hope is that investment in this industry across the country will help it to continue to thrive in Wales.”
For more information on the Spotlight on Retail, go to www.careerswales.com/en/spotlight-on-retail/
Careers Wales is an all-Wales service that offers free career advice and guidance to people of all ages looking to enter full or part time employment, work schemes, apprenticeships or gain work experience to further their skills and job prospects.
Careers Wales gives advice in both Welsh and English and for further information and to access their services, you can search online for www.careerswales.com or follow them on Twitter @CareersWales or on Facebook under www.facebook.com/careerswales.
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