As a member of the National Skills Academy for Retail, Solihull College is part of the largest ever network of retail skills shops, providing access to consistent, high quality training for retail businesses, their employees and future workforce. Delivered through the Greater Birmingham Skills Shop, our retail training is of the highest quality, ensuring that it continues to meet the needs of the retailers and the local community. We are one of the leading employee training providers in the West Midlands and Warwickshire, offering a range of retail training programmes, which can be specially tailored to suit your individual or business needs.

The Retail Academy runs various courses, from apprenticeships, to diplomas, to short courses and professional certificates, there are lots of opportunities to explore which pathways cater for your needs, and all of which offer avenues into further education and employment within the retail sector.

Please follow the links to see the courses:
Retail courses



WorldHost programmes are a modern, energetic and comprehensive training toolkit that can be used across a wide variety of industries where the quality of front-line customer service is key to business success.

The certified programmes allow employees to gain valuable skills and techniques and be eligible to wear the WorldHost pin badge, which recognises and demonstrates customer service excellence.

The Retail Academy has three programmes to choose from, ranging from half-a-day, to a full day of training in the following areas:

Principles of Customer Service
Sales Powered by Service
Frontline Management Solutions


Leading by example is a key priority for Spar retailer Rebecca Sparkes and is one of the reasons she undertook an apprenticeship alongside her staff.

Rebecca felt the best way to learn all aspects of the retail environment, including theoretical and practical skills, was through an apprenticeship, so she put herself and six managers on the Advanced Apprenticeship Retail Management Programme.

"I strongly believe in lifelong learning and self improvement and this encouraged me to put myself and the team on an apprenticeship. The programme has given me the opportunity to take a step back and look at the business through unbiased eyes, and I have learnt many new ideas to implement for business growth. The programme has also given my managers a unique insight into have business are run, covering many areas that are not normally taken into account. They have shown a great increase in confidence and knowledge since they started the programme, which has had a positive impact on the business."

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French Connection

The Retail Academy has been working with French Connection Birmingham for several years, training staff through the apprenticeship programmes.

Store Manager Sharon Bains comments: "The Retail Apprenticeships have allowed our staff to develop and improve their retail skills, whilst gaining a greater understanding of why certain procedures are carried out. I have noticed increased levels of motivation amongst the team and the level of customer service they deliver is fantastic. The Apprenticeship is an extremely beneficial way for staff to build a successful career in retail."

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