Chapelfield boss encourages youngsters to give retail a chance

City College course leader Claire Read, centre, with Paul McCarthy, general manager of intu Chapelfi

City College course leader Claire Read, centre, with Paul McCarthy, general manager of intu Chapelfield, and students from the college's fashion communications course. - Credit: Submitted

The view that shop jobs are a stop-gap must be overturned, a sector leader has said, as a national campaign to promote careers in retail kicks off.

Paul McCarthy, general manager at shopping centre Intu Chapelfield, said he wanted to change the way some people saw the sector during national campaign week Retail Matters, which runs this week.

He said: 'It is important we see retail as a really fantastic career choice. Quite often it is seen as something you do when you leave school, and then go in to a 'proper job'.

'That's not the case. The choice in retail is amazing: you can join at entry level and, through hard work and application, you can get to the very top of an organisation.'

The retail industry is facing challenging times with high street names such as House of Fraser and John Lewis reporting worse-than-expected results, though consumer confidence has been strong since the Brexit vote.

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Intu Chapelfield has been working alongside City College Norwich to support students looking at careers in retail.

The college has launched a fashion communications course with students able to use a skills training suite in the mall.

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Mr McCarthy said: 'We've been working with City College Norwich for several years and provide them with free space within intu Chapelfield for the Ego clothing store and the retail training suite.

'Being based within the centre means students can develop their skills within a real retail environment and experience the way it changes on a daily basis.'

Nearly 2,000 people are employed directly or indirectly at Chapelfield and Mr McCarthy said he expected another 300 to 400 seasonal jobs would be created over the festive period.

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