Friday, 21 January 2011

Future for Market Traders

Leicester Market will be the first to benefit from the new course
By Ben Aulakh

Market stall holders in Leicester are being given the chance to gain real qualifications in retail skills, to help make the trade a viable career option for the future.

Leicester Market is launching a new scheme offering the country’s first nationally-recognised qualification designed for market traders.

It will offer modules on working as a retail team, giving advice and help to buyers and resolving customer service problems.

Market development officer Joe Harkin said, “We are always exploring new ways to support both new and existing traders so they can grow and survive in challenging circumstances.

“I was delighted when the opportunity arose to develop a course that will benefit traders and also leave them with a valuable qualification for the future.”

Their will be courses in specialised in skills such as fishmongering and butchery, and students can also choose between classes on fruit and veg or non-food stalls.

The market is also looking to develop a quality accreditation scheme for the fruit and veg traders.

Market staff  have teamed up with Leicester College’s Retail Skills Centre, based in Charles Street, to run the course.

The free courses are open to all anyone currently working on a stall.

Mr Harkin added, “We feel it will be particularly useful support for people entering market trading for the first time, where the rates of businesses surviving have been historically low.

“That is why we have decided to put an incentive for people to access this course and other support available, so that market trading can be seen as a viable career option.”

People new to the trade will also be offered an extended introductory discounted rate on their stalls if they take part either in the new retail courses or Business Link sessions, both of which are designed to fit around the traders' working hours.

Photograph by NotFrom Utrecht.

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