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Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

11 mins ago

  EIT is launching a new programme designed specifically to allow small to medium sized retail businesses the opportunity to upskill their staff through in-work learning.

The New Zealand Certificate in Retail [Level 3] will be available from July this year and will allow existing employees to have on-the-job training count towards a qualification.

Glenn Fulcher, EIT’s Head of School Tourism & Hospitality, says it is important to support small to medium businesses in attracting and retaining staff.

“We feel this is perfect for staff who may have left school, gone straight into retail, and are now looking for recognition of what they’ve done. But also professional development, and to move through the learning journey to get to more senior roles.”

Students will also learn communication skills, techniques, and organisational practices to influence customers and meet business needs and be able to apply product knowledge and inventory to retail  interactions.

The certificate will cover health and safety and minimise potential hazards for customers and co-workers and follow standard operator procedures to deal with familiar problems in retail.

Glenn says EIT will work with the learner’s employer to map what they do on a daily basis and ensure they are efficient, before working on a learning plan to upskill in other areas.

There won’t be a need for learners to be on campus, with the theory component conducted online, enabling them to complete their working hours without disruption.

He says the Napier City Business Inc has identified the same need as EIT has, as small to medium businesses are “getting left out”.

Stirling Sports Napier and Hastings owner, Justin Leydesdorff, who is also on the Napier City Business Inc board, says the course is of real benefit for businesses in the region.

“About 98 per cent of the businesses in Hawke’s Bay are mum and dad businesses. And when you look at training staff, they don’t really have the ability to take them out for long blocks of time to study so on the job training is a perfect fit.

“It allows good growth for the employee, and increased productivity for the business. It is also a great way for employees and their employers to engage with each other in a meaningful way, which I think particularly newer business owners can sometimes struggle with.”

He says the Napier City Business Inc is regularly asked about training opportunities for upskilling staff and ways to retain staff.

Justin says that without EIT, there would be a “massive” drain on sectors in the region that rely on a younger workforce.

“EIT plays a major role in upskilling a lot of young people, but also in keeping a lot of young people here in Hawke’s Bay so that they’re not having to travel out of town. And in turn, that helps the labour force here.”

Napier City Business Inc General Manager Pip Thompson says the programme will allow businesses to offer their staff the chance to learn while they are earning.

“Ultimately, you need to be the right type of personality to work in retail. Good, friendly efficient service is vital to business success, and qualifications like this allow professional career pathways for those working in the retail sector.”

EIT sponsored the Hospitality Star award which went to Market St at this year’s Spark Business Hawke’s Bay Napier CBD Stars Celebration, hosted by the Napier City Business Inc.

MIL OSI