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Retail Business

Ways in

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Many jobs in the retail business do not set specific academic requirements although many employers prefer applicants for supervisory or management posts to have at least five GCSEs (A*-C), and A levels or equivalent qualifications. A number of jobs in the industry - for example marketing - are mainly graduate entry. Experience of working with customers, especially in a retail environment, is also very important.

Those working in the retail business are increasingly well qualified with 30% having a degree or postgraduate qualification. Only a tiny percentage have no qualifications at all. Apprenticeships are one way of entering the retail business and some well known employers, including supermarkets, have recently agreed to increase the number offered.

Personal shoppers are usually expected to have worked in a fashion or beauty environment. Retail assistants who have demonstrated the right attributes and skills fill most vacancies.

Retail buyer vacancies are popular and increasingly entrants have a degree/similar. Relevant subjects include business studies, retail and distribution. Employers of retail fashion buyers may ask for fashion qualifications.

Marketing jobs are very competitive and this means that many entrants to marketing roles, even for junior positions, have a degree/similar. Useful subjects include marketing, sales and business. Applicants with relevant work experience may be at an advantage.  

Logistics jobs involving driving and operating machinery may have age restrictions. An Apprenticeship in traffic office or wholesaling, distribution, warehousing and storage could also lead to opportunities in logistics management.

Import/export jobs increasingly require qualifications. Many companies ask for at least four GCSEs (A*-C), including English and maths. foreign languages can be useful, as cancourses that cover international trade, logistics, business studies or marketing.

For warehouse jobs a fork lift licence can be helpful in getting warehouse work. Apprenticeships in warehousing and storage may be available.

For courses in higher education, see UCAS

For courses in schools and colleges, see UCAS Progress

For Apprenticeship information, including vacancies, see the National Apprenticeship Service