People 1st agrees deal for Skillsmart Retail arms

People 1st agrees deal for Skillsmart Retail arms

People 1st, the sector skills council for hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism, is acquiring the National Skills Academy for Retail and the Standards Setting Body for Retail.

The deal for the two Skillsmart Retail arms is expected to be completed in October.

The agreement comes following changes to skills council funding and will see former Co-operative Group chief executive Martin Beaumont step down at the end of his term as chair of Skillsmart Retail at the end of the month. He will remain on the board.

The board of Skillsmart Retail is reviewing the future of its operations and considering winding up the sector skills council for retail, a statement said.

People 1st said the National Skills Academy for Retail will continue to provide skills solutions to retailers across the UK.

Apprenticeship certification will continue to be provided by a new standards setting body using the Skillsmart Retail brand. This will maintain the necessary links with employers, awarding organisations and providers to perform the apprenticeship certification process for retail, People 1st added.

“Under the new arrangements, the National Skills Academy for Retail will continue to provide skills solutions to the retail sector across the UK and will maintain its strong links with employers particularly through the NSA for Retail advisory board whose members will continue to advise on the overall strategy and direction of the NSA for retail business,” a statement said.

“People 1st currently supports a wide range of service industries and the NSA for retail skills shops will have the opportunity to extend their skills offer to these industries by accessing additional products and services.

“Importantly, this means ‘business as usual’ for these key services to retail both now and as part of the People 1st group. The skills offering to retail industry employers through the National Skills Academy for Retail will continue and help to drive forward the skills agenda that underpins jobs, growth and enterprise in this sector.”

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