Chorley retailer boosts staff skills

A Chorley-based retailer which specialises in outdoor clothing has bolstered its staff skills thanks to help from a £5.6m skills and training programme being delivered across the county.

Out of the City, based at Buckshaw Village, has received funding from Lancashire Skills Support for the Workforce (LSS) to enable one of its staff members to access customer service training.

20-year-old Lucy Stravinskas, who works at the firm’s head office in a customer service role, is currently undertaking a Level 2 NVQ in customer service. The training is being delivered by Runshaw College.

Almost half way into the programme, Lucy is currently ahead of her targets and is already realising the benefits. Lucy said: “What I’m learning is making me think more about my everyday actions when dealing with customers. I’m able to put little things into place and make slight changes to build on my existing skills.

“I think the course complements the Business Admin course I completed last year really well, they are a good combination and are really helping me to do well in my role here.”

Lucy aspires to progress within a retail management career and feels the NQV is giving her a good foundation for the profession.

Ann Bowers, customer services manager, put Lucy forward for the course to aid her professional development and to benefit the customers that Lucy deals with on a daily basis.

Ann said: “As a small business, training initiatives like this are key in ensuring we uphold our excellent standards. Lucy is applying her learning to everyday situations to the benefit of our customers and our wider team.

“We are able to deliver training in-house specific to the outdoor clothing / retail industry using our own specialist knowledge and resources, but being able to use external programmes like this for the more universal subject matters is a real benefit as it frees up internal resources and increases productivity.

“We are highly appreciative of the Lancashire Skills Support funding which has allowed us to enrol Lucy on this programme sooner than we would have done without it, which is fast tracking her career path and helping our business to grow.” Ann chose Runshaw Business Centre to deliver the training due to previous success with apprentices and an excellent working relationship with the team: “We’ve worked with Runshaw Business Centre for over four years now and they have facilitated greatly in meeting our apprenticeship needs. The NVQ training has been of great value and delivered very well. We have found the team to be very proactive in notifying us of new courses or funding programmes available to us, which assists us greatly.”