With the holiday season fast approaching, many young people across Limerick will be searching for seasonal employment in the retail sector.
The problem that a large number of them face is a lack of previous experience, something that a north side community and social enterprise group are trying to combat.
St Mary’s A.I.D. have this year run a ‘Retail Excellence Course’, which provides young people with the skills they will need to work in a retail environment.
St Mary’s A.I.D. General Manager Patrick Kennedy is hopeful that this course will not only lead to seasonal employment for its participants, but also something more permanent.
“Hopefully they will be ready for Christmas work, and from Christmas work hopefully we can build something else,” Mr. Kennedy said.
Only those who found themselves unemployed for over a year were considered eligible, with 15 places available.
The course was started for young people aged 15-25, and is run over the course of eight weeks.
Those who were selected to take part must commit to a weekly three hour class, while also being willing to take up a job in retail at the programme’s conclusion.
There are other similar courses available, but many of these run for a much longer period of time.
Being such a short programme, the ‘Retail Excellence Course’ is very well suited to young people, many of whom are hesitant to commit to something long-term.
The participants will be taught the vital skills required in retail, including sales techniques, working on a till, and creating merchandising displays.
Patrick Kennedy believes that the skills learned over the eight weeks will make these young people very attractive potential employees for retailers.
“It takes the burden away from the shop,” he added.
For more stories on St Mary’s A.I.D. and their community initiatives, pick up a copy of the Limerick Voice print edition this December.