Retailers are investing an average of £1,275 per employee in training each year, new figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) have revealed.
Retailers now account for more than 12% of the UK’s total training spend, according to its research, which highlights the scale of the industry today.
The £1,275 average per year invested in each retail employee compares with a figure of just over £800 for staff in the financial sector and £1,200 for those in manufacturing.
Retail employs nearly three million people in the UK and a third of them are 25 or younger.
With university courses costing students up to £9,000 a year from 2012, BRC director general, Stephen Robertson said the world of work was becoming an increasingly tempting alternative to university.
“Many young people considering university will be worried about building up huge debts which will take years to pay off,” he said. “An alternative is to get a job which gives access to training and personal development funded by an employer while also picking up a salary. That option is getting more attractive all the time.”
He added: "In retail you really can start on the shop floor and work your way to the top. Many well-known retail chief executives have done just that."