Published on 19 - March - 2012
The Range owner calls for academies to train retail employeesAs part of a panel discussion on the Channel 4 jobs report, The Range's Chris Dawson called for the Government to subsidise academies to train people of all ages ready for a job in retail.
Mr DAwson addresses the panel. Image courtesy of Channel 4.
Part of a panel of leading business professionals discussing how to create 2.5 million British jobs, Mr Dawson said the hardest thing for his business was finding "managers that can actually manage", adding that he would be happy to work with the Government to form an academy to give people the skills they need for a job in retail.
Mr Dawson's home and garden retail giant The Range is set to open 15 stores this year, creating 2,500 new jobs across the UK. Further positions are also likely to be created on the manufacturing side of the business. He said the company was lucky that a lot of people wanted to join the brand but explained: "We need a lot more training and we think we need a lot more help from the Government to subsidise the training programmes that are required."
He continued: "We are quite happy to go along with the Government and form a professional academy - not as an also-ran or for long-term unemployed - but where somebody directly comes to us or [another retailer] but we would want first pick of the crop if we were helping to fund it."
Mr Dawson also touched on employment legislation, stating that this needs to be made simpler for employers, adding that the legislation around firing a member of staff also "needs to be eased up".
However, his main focus remained the introduction of Government-subsidised training programmes to help boost employment in the UK. "I would like to see academies directly for the trade, whether it is car making or, in our case, retail and manufacturing, so that we can take on all ages and have a ready-made person."
The Channel 4 jobs report teamed up with a panel of experts from some of the most influential brands in the world of business to help address some of the main issues affecting the UK economy in 2012. Other panelists involved in the project include Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King, IBM CEO Stephen Leonard, and Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish from gift website notonthehighstreet.com.
Watch Mr Dawson on the Channel 4 programme here:
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