Business secretary Vince Cable meets students on visit to retail training centre
PUBLISHED: 13:54 25 November 2013 | UPDATED: 14:19 25 November 2013
Business secretary Vince Cable met students from City College Norwich as he found out about vocational training at the college’s dedicated retail training suite.
Dr Cable visited intu Chapelfield this morning to visit the Retail training facilities and Ego store, which give students the opportunity to develop their skills in a live retail environment which operates as a full-time business.
The government minister spent time speaking to the students about their experiences of the course, and said he had been impressed by the calibre of training.
“I’ve met a lot of young people with high motivation and positive attitude, who value having the combination of academic training and practical, hands-on skills, which they can use either to go straight into jobs, apprenticeships or in some cases full-time higher education.
“Norwich is fortunate to have this excellent college in the city.”
The Retail skills academy at City College Norwich is part of the National Skills Academy for Retail.
He added: “What’s clear is that the retail industry is not at all how the public see it: there is a lot of training here - buying, selling, understanding the software, because lots of these stores trade internationally.”
City College Norwich principal Corrienne Peasgood said: “I hope Dr Cable saw that vocational and professional education is an equally valuable route into higher education, and sets people up for employment, if that is what they choose to do.
“The young people have spoken very well about the value of the work experience they get on this course.”
She said the Ego shop was especially valuable for students in learning about the world of retail, adding: “The shop gives them real work: it’s not work experience, it’s a shop and they have to learn about every aspect of the business.”