RetailGoldintuPictured: (Left to right) Retail Gold graduate Zahia Sahraoui, intu Uxbridge General Manager Laurie Taylor, Alexander Nicoll from intu and Angela Vieira from intu.

intu Uxbridge has teamed up with Uxbridge College, Education and Employers, and Job Centre Plus to create a bespoke training course to help unemployed adults get into retail.

Designed to set the standard in retail, ‘Retail Gold’ is helping people to develop essential employability skills, boosting their self-confidence and giving them an insight into all aspects of working in the industry. intu Uxbridge has worked with West Met Skills, the Apprenticeships & Employer Services team from Uxbridge College, to create a course that leaves trainees ‘job ready’ when they complete the course.

As well as formal qualifications in Retail Knowledge and Customer Service, Retail Gold is also giving its students a path to real job opportunities.

Students on the first Uxbridge course learnt CV-writing skills, completed mock job interviews with intu management volunteers, took part in world-class service sessions and did a tour around the Boots store.

Retail Gold courses are happening across the UK via intu shopping centres. The first Uxbridge course included four days on Retail Knowledge and four on Customer Service. It was such a success that a second course has been planned for Uxbridge in July.

A graduation ceremony for the first intake of students took place last month, at which the graduates were presented with their official qualification certificates.

Representatives from intu, including corporate responsibility director Alexander Nicoll, corporate responsibility manager Kathryn Barber, as well as intu Uxbridge’s retail liaison and corporate responsibility coordinator Angela Vieira and general manager Laurie Taylor, attended to congratulate the winners.

Angela said: “The first Retail Gold course was such a hit that we cannot wait to do it again! It is wonderful to be able to connect education with employment in this way, to pave the way for a better future for these unemployed young adults, while helping employers to recruit. We are proud to be able to deliver positive change through our ongoing partnerships.”

Giles Strachan from West Met Skills (Uxbridge College’s Apprenticeship and Employer Services Team) said: "Retail Gold is a fantastic example of how employers and colleges can work together to provide the right people with the right skills for the right jobs. Uxbridge College and West Met Skills are really excited to be part of this initiative with intu Uxbridge, Jobcentre Plus, and Education and Employers to provide targeted training, education and employment support at the heart of our community."

To find out more about intu Uxbridge, head to www.intu.co.uk/uxbridge, and discover more about Education and Employers at www.educationandemployers.org, Uxbridge College at www.uxbridgecollege.ac.uk and West Met Skills at https://www.westmetskills.co.uk