Louise Ramsay: 'Cost can be recouped by sale of one jacket'

Louise Ramsay: 'Cost can be recouped by sale of one jacket'

Workers in the outdoor retail industry will be able to gain professional qualifications later this year.

Organisers of the new training scheme said this should lead to the likelihood of fewer dissatisfied customers and will, for the first time, give those selling outdoor gear a credible recognition of skills that will help their careers.

The Active Retail scheme is the brainchild of the Outdoor Industries Association, which represents manufacturers, retailers, activity providers and others in the outdoors sector.

It has been under development for more than a year and will offer two levels, based on one- and two-day courses, backed by online learning.

The qualification incorporates customer care and product knowledge and has been devised by the Peoplework company.

Achievement certificates will be awarded to everyone who completes a course, highlighting the skills that they have learned.

OIA chief executive Louise Ramsay said: “The outdoor industry has long needed a viable and credible retail training scheme that meets the needs of businesses, regardless of size.

“Don and Tom at Peoplework have done an excellent job in putting together what I believe is a very comprehensive programme. Active Retail will allow businesses and staff in our sector to be part of something that sets the standard in skills and customer service levels, and which we can use to proactively promote specialist outdoor retailers to the increasing numbers of the general public who are exploring the outdoors.

“The OIA believes that Active Retail is a really significant and well put together programme.  That is why we have endorsed it and will be actively encouraging the industry to support and participate in the courses.

“For every member of staff who attends a course, the cost of their place can be recouped through the sale of just one additional jacket. Given how much each individual will learn through Active Retail, and the added value they will then be able to bring to the business, that should lead to an excellent return on investment.”

The Active Retail programme is due to start in October, in London, Bristol, Manchester and Edinburgh, with 27 courses taking place over the following 12 months.  Bookings are being taken now.  For further information contact Don Gladstone, or ring him on 01422 845453 or 07939 096695.

  • grough is a member of the Outdoor Industries Association.

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