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The Range owner calls for academies to train retail employees

Published: 19 March 2012
As 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.
The Range owner calls for academies to train retail employees
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

Watch Mr Dawson on the Channel 4 programme here:


Published prior to March 2014
By bally
he defenately needs to train his own managers especially at the Peterborough store.They are a joke and head office are worst than the store .They certainly need to go back to school and do management degrees.As for contacting Mr Dawson,there is no chance he does not communicate with customers he has better things to do like set up colleges for his managers.By the way i need a word with Mr Dawson too if anybody knows how to contact him please let md know.
Published prior to March 2014
By Bill Stone
I would love to speak with this gentleman. I've written to him three times complaining about his store in Newport South Wales from where I bought a wardrobe, to be delivered in 7 - 10 days
It took five weeks, umpteen phonecalls, visits to store and listening to all manner of feeble excuses for not delivering the goods I had paid for up front. When the robe eventually did arrive the driver was unaccompanied and had to go around to my neighbours to beg assistance to unload, additionally, parts of the robe fittings were missing and the lights failed to work!!
I have related all of the problems to Mr Dawson by mail and e-mail but have not received so much as a acknowledgement Needless to say I shall not be using the Range again.
"Pick of the crop?" don't think so!!

Published prior to March 2014
By Chris Dawson (it really is)
I wholly agree with my names sake. Real training for real jobs to help both unemployment and employers. Let's help the vast number of 'unemployable' by giving them proper skills to take to a paying workplace. 2.5 million is a vast mountain to climb and total employment is just a dream but lets help those who will help themselves and invest in everyones future. I would be willing to offer my company's services at reduced rates to train and develop management and retail service skills to new employees.

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