High school students learn real-life retail skills with Scotmid

Students from Craigmount High School in Edinburgh have been learning real-life retailing skills with Scotmid Co-operative, as part of their Retail Qualification.

The four week practical course, initiated by Co-operative Education Trust Scotland (CETS) and provided by Scotmid’s in-house learning and development team, taught students essential retail theory and principles, including stock control, pricing, product displays, point of sale, and health and safety. The course also taught students about the co-operative difference between Scotmid and other retailers, including co-operative values.

The pupils spent eight hours in a local Scotmid store to put their knowledge into practice, and they will soon spend time in Scotmid’s head office to find out about the marketing, stock management and other operational aspects that go into running a store.

As well as retail skills, the students got the chance to try their hand at event management by holding a charity event at the school in aid of Comic Relief, which Scotmid donated refreshments for. Employability skills, such as job applications and interviews, were also key parts of the course.

Jodie Robertson, one of the students who completed the retail qualification, said: “The best thing about the course was that it was really practical. I liked spending time in Scotmid and putting what we’d learnt into practice. We learnt how to make things clear and easy for customers to find, how to display the point of sale, and about the different products. There’s a lot more thought behind things that you realise! We also learnt how to do risk assessments and got to practice job interviews.”

Erin Murrell, another student who completed the course, said: “I have a job in retail at the moment and I’m hoping that this qualification will give me a real step up. I liked how there were so many different little bits to retail that you didn’t think about or know before. It was really interesting to find out how much detail goes into everything, like how everything needs to be measured to size. It was also good to learn about all of the displays and point of sale that needs to go up during the year, like Mother’s Day and Easter.”

Alan Bellshaw, Learning and Development consultant from Scotmid said: “This was a new and exciting opportunity for both Craigmount High students and our staff to work together and experience life in our local community stores. It was great for the Scotmid store teams to share their knowledge with the students and give them a look behind-the scenes.”

This was the first time that Scotmid has worked in conjunction with a High School to help pupils gain a Retail Qualification, and there are now plans to roll out the programme with other schools in the near future.


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