Skills Shop celebrates retail success as employment figures boom

Skills Shop celebrates retail success as employment figures boom

Six years after opening its doors to the public, Trafford College’s Skills Shop is celebrating helping over 500 of its learners into full time employment.

Since its opening in 2013, the Skills Shop, which is situated in the heart of retailers at Intu Trafford Centre, has welcomed an average of 4000 annual visitors through its doors for advice and guidance, and seen close to 1400 students complete qualifications. Working in partnership with Intu Trafford Centre and Job Centre Plus, the Skills Shop has also supported over 200 businesses at the UK’s third largest shopping centre in accessing world class skills solutions for their industry, and has rapidly become a one-stop shop for independent retailers and larger chains looking to enhance the skills of their employees.

Mark Adjei-Kumi from Clayton, enrolled on a back-to-work training programme in August 2018 after being made redundant from his job as a youth worker.

With the support of the Skills Shop’s specialist team and pre-employment training, Mark was able to learn job skills and CV writing, as well as benefit from feedback following mock interviews with large employers such as Debenhams, and work placements with retailers, like B&M.

Mark successfully applied for two jobs, opting for Customer Care Assistant at McDonald’s. Within four months of starting at the Higher Broughton branch in Salford, Mark won best restaurant employee then clinched best regional employee, seeing off competition from 38 North West town and city McDonald’s franchises.

Mark said, “Jemma and Jenny from the Skills Shop were great. They are really experienced and gave me a whole new sense of motivation.

“If I were giving advice to someone else in my position, I’d say refer yourself straight to the Skills Shop. It really is the best place to be because they draw out your strengths.”

After his positive learning experience with Trafford College, Mark looked for further professional development opportunities at McDonald’s and is now an Apprentice Customer Practitioner Level 2. He has also trained to visit schools and mentor school leavers on their next steps, guiding them through activities to help get their minds thinking about careers when they leave school.

“Because of my firm foundations at the Skills Shop, I have been applying what I’ve learned and looked for career development opportunities,” he added.

Employability & Skills Manager, Jemma Lees, commented,It has been a wonderful six years for the Skills Shop and we are proud to be supporting so many businesses at Intu Trafford Centre with their recruitment needs. We look forward to continuing to deliver a high quality range of programmes alongside our partners here at the centre, that will help train local individuals to develop the skills needed to progress into employment.

Jemma added, “We are delighted Mark has won these awards. A huge congratulations on his accomplishments with McDonald’s. He truly deserves every award he has won and it was a pleasure for Jenny and I to work with him throughout the programme. It is always lovely to hear from someone who has progressed and succeeded.”

For more information about the Skills Shop or to find out more about referrals, contact Jenny or Jemma on (0161) 747 4674 or visit our website at