Thursday, August 21, 2014

News: Rotherham retailers urged to enter digital world

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The Source Skills Academy is hosting a new programme to help local retailers close the "digital divide" that exists between the larger brand name multiples and the smaller businesses on the High Street.

Based at Meadowhall, The Source Skills Academy is a flagship centre providing state of the art training and development facilities with a focus on the retail and service sector.

A Rotherham base opened on the High Street in 2011 with support from Rotherham Council and the Skills Funding Agency.

The Digital High Street Skills programme is split into three modules which look at different aspects of digital communications; from websites to Social Media and from e-commerce to eBay, these modules will help businesses strategise their way to new customers.

The programme has been developed with the help of the Employer Ownership Fund and with co-financing from the European Social Fund, the National Skills Academy for Retail can offer training and mentoring for small retail businesses at substantially reduced rates. The fund is accessible to all businesses in the Retail, Hospitality, Leisure & Tourism sectors with fewer than 250 employees and in the Sheffield city region.

The Future High Streets Forum, established by the government to bring together leaders across retail, property and business, is developing a strong approach to combining technology with the traditional high street to ensure that they remain commercially viable and locally relevant; and bringing together a range of examples of successful technology initiatives to create a best practice guide.

Paul Alton, training and development manager at The Source Skills Academy, said: "We are delighted to be able to offer the Digital High Street Skills programme to businesses in Sheffield and the surrounding areas. It will provide so many opportunities for those businesses that, for whatever reason, haven't yet engaged their customers through a digital platform.

"Digital High Street Skills is unique in that the content is easy to digest, whilst being a potential game changer for SMEs wanting to step into the mobile digital age."

The importance of using the digital world was highlighted at the last Retail Matters conference held at The Source. The next event, to be held on September 17, will look at improving business performance by investing in staff as ambassadors.

The Source website

Images: The Source

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