Eight exclusive FREE management scholarships available to independent retailers

Independent retailers are urged to apply for the chance to win eight exclusive scholarships, worth over £2,000 each, to attend the prestigious Oxford Summer School Academy level. Six of the scholarships are being sponsored by Retail Trust and the remaining will be sponsored by the National Skills Academy for Retail, led by Skillmart Retail.

Run by the British Independent Retailers Association (bira), the Oxford Summer School is held at Keble College, University of Oxford, from 18th to 24th August. Retailers from across the country will gather at this intensive week-long training course for a unique opportunity to network and share industry experience.


Dominic Prendergast, Managing Director for Oxford Summer School, said: “bira is delighted that Retail Trust and the National Skills Academy for Retail, led by Skillsmart Retail, are generously offering smaller retailers the inspirational experience of attending the Oxford Summer School thereby allowing them to develop the confidence and motivation to realise their potential.”


Applications for six of the scholarships are open to companies with less than 1,000 employees. The remaining two scholarships welcome entries from businesses with fewer than 250 employees. We would especially like to hear from talented middle managers, store managers and assistant store managers, with a minimum of five years of experience, who aspire to advance their retail management careers.


Anne Seaman, Chief Executive of Skillsmart Retail said: “Training is essential to help eager individuals grow professionally, however it’s not always easy for smaller retailers to afford to pay for the training they need. We are offering these scholarships to help them build on their skills and get top notch training.”

Nigel J L Rothband, Retail Trust Chief Executive said: “The new Academy level provides our future retail leaders with the knowledge and skills needed for a successful retail career. Retail Trust is very proud to be offering scholarships again this year and I would urge those who want to really make their mark in retail to apply now.”


The Oxford Summer School Academy level covers everything from practical learning around best practice in leadership, finance and marketing to managing retail space. Delegates will benefit from both small group activities and lectures led by retail experts.

Louise Pallas, a former scholarship winner and manager for Ransoms Garden Centre in Jersey, said about attending the Oxford Summer School:“The summer school exceeded my expectations. I was impressed with the way the course was put together from the outset. When we arrived we were treated so well and encouraged to learn in a great environment. I learnt so much about myself and the way I work. I was able to look at how I ran my area within my department and make changes such as restructuring my team, re-organising displays and changing the way I order products.


“Since the course I feel I manage my team better, I am more professional and have more confidence. It also gave me the tools I needed to bring my ideas together and make significant changes to improve the way I work. It was a very challenging week and I would recommend this course to anyone who works in retail. The experience of meeting the best in the business and learning from them is something I will never forget. I am grateful I was given the opportunity I never imagined I would have.”


Applications must be submitted before 5.00 pm on Friday 25 May and can be downloaded fromwww.skillsmartretail.com/OxfordSummerSchool or www.retailtrust.org.uk/OxfordSummerSchool

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