Wednesday 27 February 2008


Minister Micheál Martin, today (27th February, 2008), launched a major new initiative for employees of the Retail Sector. The initiative provided by FÁS is in the form of two new training programmes – the first, aimed at people who have at least one year’s experience in the Retail Sector entitled Certificate in Retail Skills FETAC Level 4 and the second a more in depth programme aimed at people who wish to advance to front-line management called the Advanced Certificate in Retail Management FETAC Level 6.

Commenting at the launch the Minister said “The upskilling of our existing workforce and raised education levels were essential in an environment of constant change and will become even more important over the next decade as the fast-changing nature of the workplace requires that workers be ever more flexible and adaptable.”

FÁS consulted widely before it brought these new products to the market and has pilot tested both programmes with Tesco Ireland in three of its major stores in Dublin.

Tony Keohane, Chief Executive, Tesco Ireland said “As a business that has long recognised the potential of our staff and already invest heavily in staff development programmes, we are delighted to be the first retailer to pilot these National Awards. They represent a significant step forward for the retail industry and will be of benefit to us as retailers, our staff and the customers we serve every day. I would also like to pay tribute to FÁS, FETAC, Mandate and SIPTU for their support with this project.”

Mr Vincent Jennings, CEO of The Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association who are working closely with FÁS on this initiative, welcomes the fact that FÁS will be rolling this out nationwide over the coming weeks and said “that these programmes will have huge benefit for his membership.”

General Secretary of Mandate, John Douglas welcomed the initiative “We are delighted to be involved in this very positive initiative from FÁS. Investment in training and development in the retail sector is something that Mandate strongly supports. We feel these courses, which are very practical and relevant, will facilitate organisations to nurture and encourage their staff members to develop to their full potential.”

FÁS intends to make over 1000 places available for employees of the Retail Sector within the next year.