Retail training and Internship program (RTIP) Set 1 successfully comes to end, graduating the pioneering set of students from Retail Academy. RTIP is one of the 4 programs currently available in the Retail Academy.
The driving force behind the Retail Academy initiative is to prepare and inspire Retail minded individuals for a successful career and entrepreneurship in Retail through training. The exercise is designed to equip unemployed youths in Nigeria with the retail technical ‘know how’ of how to start and progress a successful career in retail as well how to start and run a successful retail business
RTIP 1, which commenced officially on October 3rd 2017 with 23 students in attendance is the first of its kind within the Retail sphere in Nigeria and the West Africa sub-region.
The Academy on Monday 6th November, 2017 at the graduation ceremony in Lagos, celebrated 18 out of 23 students, as 5 students who are already working were unable to attend the ceremony. The graduating students were excited about the outcome of the exercise and commended the management and convener of the exercise for the initiative.
The President of Bervidson Retail Group and founder of the Retail Academy, Mr Joseph Ebata at the Retail Academy training center during the graduation ceremony in Lagos, expressed joy at the successful completion of the maiden edition of the Retail training internship program (RTIP 1). In his final remarks to the graduating student, he encouraged them to be good Ambassadors of Retail Academy and put to active use the knowledge they have acquired from the training.
While presenting his paper on, “The mindset of a successful Retail Associate”, he said “your problem is only as big as the imagination you confer on it. In retail business, to succeed you must first develop the right mind-set which could mean changing your mindset”. He emphasized the need for developing the right mindset to ensure that success is guaranteed when running your business.
In an interview with Retail Info, Mr Ebata emphasized the need for the collective contribution and collaboration of both Government and private sector. He urged them to come together and be actively involved with Retail Academy. He added that both the government and the private sector to support the Retail Academy initiative and partner with the Academy by enrolling unemployed youths through scholarship schemes as doing so will greatly help to reduce the growing population of unemployed youths in the nation.
Also speaking on the prospects for the Academy, Mr Ebata said “Our goal is to be the ultimate retail resource destination for retailers not only in Nigeria but in West Africa. I see retail academy positively redefining the Retail landscape in Nigeria over the next five years”.
According to Charles Imuzeze, Managing Director of Great Measure Media Network and Facilitator at Retail Academy, “the Retail Academy is a great idea. As you can see, there is high enthusiasm amongst the graduating students especially as the internship and field work aspect of the program provided them the opportunity to experience retailing in a totally new dimension. The level of commitment from the students was encouraging”. Mr Imuzeze also said that one area of the training he would like to see improved is the Internship segment, “I feel the internship segment should be extended to a month as this will further equip the students more because personally, I feel two weeks is too short” he added.
Speaking with Retail Info on the impact of the training, the class governor of the graduating pioneering set Timi Ojemakinde, CEO Timi Africa Foods described his experience as worthwhile and fulfilling. “Customer service was especially impactful since my business is retail related. I had issues with my customer relationship skills and that affected the growth of my business, but the training has equipped me with skills set to ensure I relate more effectively and productively with my customers to maximize growth and profitability of my business”, he added.
Misconceptions about the retail industry has deprived many young Nigerians from being actively involved in the retail sector, particularly when it comes to pursuing a career in retail. Most assume the retail industry caters only for those with little or no education; as such do not consider retail as an industry where they could develop a thriving career. This trend has led most Nigerians to disregard the opportunities this thriving sector can offer and how much can be achieved only if there are more awareness.
According to Maranatha Ngene a graduating student from Retail Academy and sales representative at Vidora Luxury (a Job she got while on her internship program Retail Academy), “I feel there should be more awareness out there to change the misconception about retail jobs being for the less fortunate. Retail should be included as part of our curriculum in various institutions of learning because I recall at school, we were taught about entrepreneurship but nothing about retailing was mentioned. So I believe that if this is included in our institutions’ curriculum, and incorporated into the NYSC skill acquisition programs, it will go a long way to clear the misconception about retail in the minds of most youths out there”. “See, the unemployment level in the country is very high and this has a huge impact on the economy. This trend must not be allowed to continue, which is why all must rise up to support the Retail Academy initiative, especially the government. If more youth embrace the opportunities lurking around in the retail industry, I believe our nation can achieve more: there will be more employment and output generation will invariably increase.” she concluded.
The graduating students were issued certificate of participation. The cutting of the graduation cake formally ended the ceremony.