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Towards a healthy high street: identifying skills needs in small independent retailers

Byrom, John and Parker, Cathy and Harris, John (2002) Towards a healthy high street: identifying skills needs in small independent retailers. ISSN 0040-0912

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Abstract

This paper details work undertaken to identify and assess the skills needs of small, especially food-related, independent retailers in the United Kingdom. The paper, part of a European Social Fund (ESF) assisted project: “Towards a healthy high street (II)”, considers the specific skills areas deemed to be lacking at present in the sector. From this, higher-level learning materials will be developed which relate to the skills areas identified. The prime source of evidence for skills needs identification draws upon research undertaken as part of two previous ESF projects. The key aim of this paper is to combine and articulate the findings from this earlier ESF research with material published by practitioners, academics and government pertaining to the provision of training in this vital sector of the economy. Three key areas upon which to focus training in the sector are explored: “Building and sustaining competitive advantage”, “E-commerce” and “Retail operations”.

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