Students consider their future careers in retail at WorldSkills UK Live

Last month, Rethink Retail, powered by the BRC, took part at WorldSkills UK LIVE at the NEC, Birmingham. This was the first time that the retail industry had been represented at the event and we were excited to meet the young visitors from schools and colleges to inspire them to think about a career in retail.

WorldSkills UK LIVE is the UK’s largest experiential skills, apprenticeships and careers event showcasing the different career opportunities available to young people. From floristry to plumbing, engineering to hairdressing; you name it, WorldSkills had it all. There were also various apprenticeship competitions taking place throughout the event with competitors from all over the UK taking part.

Rethink Retail is an online platform showcasing the diverse range of job roles available and career opportunities in retail. Our objective at WorldSkills was to encourage young people to think of retail as a career of choice and we were delighted to be joined by 4 of our members, Sainsbury’s, Boots, Amazon and Pret a Manger who ran activities and showcased different career roles within their organisation. Boots were creating a Christmas make-up look (which was a HUGE success), Amazon helped students to understand basic coding with their Ozobot robots, Sainsbury’s presented a visual merchandising exercise and Pret a Manager were on hand to answer any questions about their apprenticeship opportunities.

We were also delighted to partner with early careers specialists Mykindafuture, to provide the young visitors access to ‘connectr’ a bespoke early careers Digital Skills and Digital Mentoring platform. Those that signed up to the platform will now be able to connect with digital mentors from Sainsburys, Pret a Manger and Boots to continue to get support and advice. They also have access to free learning modules, designed to develop key skills and confidence young people need in order to be successful in the retail industry. These include a Personal Skills module covering self-awareness, learning how the smallest things have a significant impact in a new job, as well as recruitment processes which covers CV and cover letter tips and how to ace interviews.

Hayley Dennett, Recruitment Manager, Boots Early Careers and Education said:

“Retail is an exciting option for many people and one of the very few industries where it is genuinely possible for someone to build a successful career. It was fantastic to be part of the Rethink Retail stand at World Skills LIVE and to work with other likeminded companies to showcase the wide variety of roles available. Our Boots Early Careers team and Beauty Crews had an amazing three days, and some incredible interactions and conversations with visitors.”

Daksha Stancilas, Learning and Development Manager (Apprenticeships), Pret A Manger said:

‘Pret A Manger attended WorldSkills UK Live at Birmingham NEC in collaboration with Rethink Retail (BRC) promoting alternative routes to education, such as apprenticeships, and discussing careers. It was a great opportunity to engage and inspire young people, educators and parents/legal guardians, about what the next step can be.’

To find out more about careers in retail please visit