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REI Back to Work in Retail programme

A new initiative entitled Back to Work in Retail aims to provide 1,000 retail jobs across the sector

May 12 2010

Senator Feargal Quinn

Superquinn, Applegreen and Topaz are among 15 retail outlets involved in a pilot programme to assist job seekers in attaining one of 1,000 jobs on offer at its participating retail member stores throughout the county.

The initiative entitled Back to Work in Retail was announced by Retail Excellence Ireland on 21 April. It will initially see 150 successful candidates go through an intensive two-day training programme with a view to matching them to a suitable job vacancy in one of the 15 member companies.

The remaining jobs will be offered through the standard recruitment methods of each participating retail company: Applegreen, Click, Currys, Elvery Sports, Home Store + More, Mothercare, Paddy Power, PC World, Petmania, Stacks, Superquinn, The Carphone Warehouse, Topaz, Unicarepharmacy and Vodafone.

The initiative is being supported by retail veteran Senator Feargal Quinn and has been developed to offer job seekers a full insight into a career in retail and equip suitable candidates with the practical skills necessary to gain immediate employment.
Speaking at the launch of Back to Work in Retail, chief executive of REI, David Fitzsimons said that thousands of jobs had been lost in the retail industry over the last 18 months but that retail members were keen to facilitate employment opportunities as the industry starts to grow again.

“The retail industry is Ireland’s largest sector by labour force and although thousands of jobs have been lost as a result of the recession a number of our retail members are in a position to take on new people as they prepare for an eventual return to growth in the latter part of 2010.  As such, this two day training programme is being organised on a pilot basis and will facilitate contact between job seekers and leading retailers who have current job vacancies,” said Fitzsimons.  

Senator Feargal Quinn said that there will be positive long term benefits from such a such a programme. “Irish retail provides for a vibrant and rewarding career path and I think a dedicated programme such as this will have long term benefits for all involved as it ensures the right candidates are matched with the right jobs,” he said.

Back to Work in Retail is being run by CPL Retail and Excel Recruitment to profile both participating retail companies and candidates in an effort to match each of the 150 trainees to suitable vacancies.  
Barry Whelan of Excel Recruitment told ShelfLife that “he saw the programme as being a great opportunity to train people for work in the retail trade and to encourage those who had no experience in the area to apply and take advantage of the training and the recruitment services.”

The training will take place in Dublin – 17 and 18 May 2010,  Limerick – 24 and 25 May 2010  and Cork – 31 May and 1 June 2010.

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