Wednesday, January 13, 2016

News: New apprentices at Makers Emporium

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Two new apprentices have started their retail careers at the Makers Emporium on Rotherham's award-winning High Street.

No.26 Makers Emporium is an exciting retail space run by apprentices and showcasing handmade products by local crafters, designers and artists. It was a key part of Rotherham's recent success in the best town centre category in the Great British High Streets Awards with organisers recognising the incredible support for start-up businesses and local retailers.


Store manager Matt Webster and deputy manager Shannon Swift - No.26's original apprentices - have welcomed two new starters to the store. Charlotte Cardwell, 23 and Germaine Latham, 18 have joined the Makers Emporium while studying for their Level 2 Retail Qualification with The Source.

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.

Both Charlotte and Germaine were actively seeking retail positions when the apprenticeship opportunity arose. Germaine said: "I had completed my first year at college studying Health and Social Care to work as a carer but after work experience I felt it wasn't right for me. I came into Rotherham to look for retail work and met Matt who told me about the apprenticeship opportunity."

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As Charlotte and Germaine work towards their Level 2 qualification, Matt is now studying towards his Level 4 Retail Management qualification and Shannon is now completing her Level 3 Retail qualification.

Matt Webster, store manager at the Makers Emporium (pictured, right), said: "The Maker's Emporium is a great place for retail apprentices like Charlotte and Germaine to start their retail career. Shannon is an example of what can be achieved after starting at No.26 as a retail assistant and is now deputy manager helping apprentices start their own career."

New starter, Charlotte said: "I had been unemployed for a year and I wanted to do a qualification to help me find a job, so an apprenticeship was ideal. I had previous retail experience so I knew that was what I wanted and I'm pleased I was offered a position here. I hope my work experience at No.26 and my qualification will help me to secure a permanent retail position in future."

Transforming the former Snafu rock bar in 2014, the Makers Emporium offers low-cost shared and professionally-managed retail space to a mixture of makers, crafters, artists and designers. Funded by the High Street Renewal Award and delivered in partnership between the Council, The Source Skills Academy and Rotherham Youth Enterprise, it aims to support new start-businesses looking to trade for the first time, raise awareness of their products and letting them see for themselves what takes to run their own business.

Makers Emporium website
The Source website

Images: The Source

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