Leeds launches £500k retail training centre

A new training academy to cater for the region's top retail and hospitaility talent has been launched in Leeds.

The £500,000 Ambition:Leeds academy is a joint project between Leeds City Council, Landsec and LeedsBID, in direct response to demand from retailers who are looking for skilled recruits to join their workforce.

Recent research shows that employment in the wholesale and retail sector and the accommodation and food services sector is forecast to grow by 12 per cent and 13 per cent respectively over the next 10 years.

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The centre, which is located at the City Exchange building on Albion Street will offer training from some of the region’s most respected education partners including Leeds City College, Leeds Beckett and The Source Skills Academy.

Andrew Cooper, chief executive at LeedsBID, said: “The retail and hospitality sector in the city is flourishing and it is imperative we continue to grow and support it with highly-skilled staff.

“Ambition:Leeds provides a great opportunity for employees to access the education, skills and training to help them on the path to a successful career, and for employers who are looking for high calibre candidates with hands-on experience.”

Andrew Russell, Portfolio Director at Landsec, which owns the City Exchange building and Trinity Leeds, said: “Leeds is ranked as the third highest destination for retail spend outside London, and it sits just outside the European top 20.

“We’d like to think Trinity Leeds has played a big part in that, and we’re proud to take it one step further by supporting an innovative project like Ambition:Leeds.

“It’s a unique career path for anyone who wants to become a part of the city’s thriving retail and hospitality industry.”

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for learning, skills and employment said: “Skilled staff are critical to this and we want to support employers to invest in their workforce skills to improve service standards and business performance to enable them to continue to adapt and grow in a changing economy. We are therefore very excited by the launch of Ambition:Leeds.”