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The completion rates of UK retail apprenticeship schemes are being hampered by a general lack of effective apprentice management, monitoring and measurement, according to Perspective, a leading authority in apprenticeship training and distributed learning. Recent figures indicate that of the 5,000 people currently taking part in retail apprenticeship schemes across the UK, only 53% (2,650) will successfully complete their training.

At present, many retail apprenticeship schemes are managed and monitored manually, a method that is both time consuming, inconsistent and prone to error resulting in a lack of awareness regarding each apprentice’s true progress at any particular point. Consequently, partnered with the fact that retail apprenticeships have so many diverse sectors, trainers are currently unable to easily recognise and resolve any potential issues as they arise.

Gary Harlock, Director of Perspective and a recognised leader in the design, delivery and development of apprenticeship schemes, commented: “In an effort to raise standards the government is now applying much greater rigour regarding the quality of training delivery and learner success rates. Within the motor industry for example, they have implemented systems that enable them to effectively monitor apprentice progression and as a result have seen success rates improve by at least 30%. This is something that could quite easily be replicated in the retail sector.”

Perspective has created an effective means of measuring retail apprenticeship progression. AMS is an intuitive, web based management tool which enables key stake holders involved in the delivery of apprenticeship schemes to track individuals and their progression throughout the duration of the apprenticeship. This is done with a simple click of a button enabling training providers to manage apprentices through effective learner-centric tracking of progression against qualifications, frameworks and milestones, as well as managing funding, recruitment and statistical reporting.

AMS uses unique access controls giving real time, secure views of a learner’s progress to all key operators, i.e. managers, trainers, assessors, verifiers, employers and the apprentices themselves, providing appropriate levels of visability to all of the critical phases of each apprenticeses progress.

Gary Harlock continued: “AMS is remotely accessible by all parties, our student monitoring software not only eliminates the headache of paperwork, it keeps apprentices focused and motivated by allowing them to see how they are developing with the scheme, whilst at the same time giving the apprenticeship provider a clear and concise insight to learner’s progress and whether certain issues need to be raised to improve the course or indeed the learner.”
The retail sector currently employs over three million individuals and by 2014 it is expected that a further 250,000 employees will be required and many of these will be on apprenticeship schemes.

Gary added: “As a result of this retail, along with other sectors, has a responsibility to ensure that apprenticeship success rates are raised. It is essential that we maximise the opportunity for apprentices to take part and achieve in apprenticeships across the UK to fulfil the Governments goals to provide the economy with a highly skilled work force that by 2020, it is hoped, will be a world leader in new skills.”

For further information regarding Perspective please call 0121 506 9452 or visit

Press Enquiries:

Katharine Parker, Punch Communications
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Editors Notes:

Apprenticeship schemes equip learners with the skills and knowledge needed to progress well within a chosen industry that, in turn, enhances their motivation and efficiency at work. However, apprenticeships can also assist businesses in a number different ways.

With the ongoing problem, especially prevalent in the retail sector, of recruitment and retaining the right people for the company, apprenticeships provide an easy route to a competent workforce and can fill skill gaps and avoid skills shortages. According to the LSC’s National Employer Statistical Survey (NESS) of 2004, almost half of employers reporting skills shortage openings said they were losing business as a direct result of a lack in skilled workers.
Both large organisations and SME’s alike have taken recent statistics onboard and have employed apprentices - witnessing the success that comes with it. By encouraging employers to keep operations UK based, apprenticeship schemes are - and will continue to - improve the economy as they help fill the skills gap that the UK is currently suffering.

About Perspective:

Perspective is a software developer specialising in web-based training and learning solutions in the UK. Perspective offers its unique collection of Learning Management systems to the evolving UK education and skills sector, providing the tools to effectively manage and monitor skills delivery utilising student tracking software to measure attendance and progress. The web-based solutions have been designed by sector professional to link the partners involved in a diverse range of learning environments including 14-19 delivery partnerships, work based learning, apprenticeship programmes and vocationally based schemes.

About Punch Communications:

Established in 2003, Punch Communications is a digital PR Agency that specialises in providing strategic PR consultancy, including media relations and training, product launches and crisis management that has significant and measurable impact on client’s business.

Punch PR Agency recently celebrated its fifth year in business with a move to prestigious new offices and represents a host of clients from varied sectors including digital, financial, consumer, automotive and property.

For a full list of Public Relations services, including case studies, client and media testimonials, please visit

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