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Top Gear Surf & Streetwear, Retail Assistant Zara Curran has been selected as a finalist in the 2012 Retail Modern Apprentice of the Year Awards.
The Retail Modern Apprentice of the Year Awards recognise the hard work young retail apprentices put into developing a career in retail, an industry which is often overlooked for its career opportunities. This year the competition was tough with many quality apprentices nominated.
Zara enjoys working in retail because she loves ‘helping customers and the feeling of putting sales through’.
Zara was nominated for the Award by her manager, Tracy Curran. Tracy is impressed with Zara’s drive and energy for her job, ‘she always arrives at work ready for a busy day ahead. She finds things that need doing and starts putting things in place to complete tasks’.
Tracy feels that Zara has what it takes to have a successful career in the retail industry; ‘customers really love her and appreciate her honest advice. She has a great future ahead in the retail industry and the more experience she gets her confidence and knowledge grows’. Retail Institute Training Adviser, Angela Spice-Ridley agrees, ‘Zara is a self-motivated young lady with a clear vision of what she wishes to achieve out of life. Zara can work unsupervised and always gives whatever she is doing her full attention’. She also feels that Zara has great prospects in the retail industry, saying that she “has an exciting career in retail ahead of her. She is an upcoming star within the retail world’.
The Retail Modern Apprentice programme has helped Zara in both her work and personal life. In the workplace she has been given the responsibility of managing the store when her manager is away, and she is finding the apprentice programme has ‘given me plenty of confidence and knowledge. Outside of work, it has helped me be more organised and I am more aware of the things going on around me,’ she says.
Retail Modern Apprentice of the Year
The Retail Modern Apprentice of the Year competition recognises the hard work retail apprentices put into developing a career in retail, an industry which is often overlooked for its career opportunities.
This year Retail Institute received a record number of nominations. The competition is open to anyone who is completing a Retail Modern Apprenticeship. To enter, apprentices are nominated by their employer, themselves or anyone else who has recognised the contribution they are making in the business they work for.
The next stage for these finalists includes submitting a profile form and being mystery shopped by Market Pulse International. They will be looking for good customer service, communication skills and product knowledge. A judging panel will then select the winners, which will be announced at the regional TOP SHOP® Gala awards dinners, around the country.
Nominations are then reviewed and apprentices’ academic achievements are evaluated to narrow it down to regional finalists. Finalists are then mystery shopped by Market Pulse International. Once the mystery shopping results are received, a judging panel selects the regional winners and an overall winner. Regional winners are announced at the NZRA TOP SHOP® Awards held throughout New Zealand, and the overall winner announced at the Auckland awards.
The Retail Modern Apprenticeship programme
The Retail Modern Apprenticeship programme is a government funded, work-based training programme for people between the ages of 16 and 21. The programme aims to make it easier for employers to recruit and train talented young staff, and develop the next generation of retail professionals. During the three year programme apprentices complete three training modules aimed at increasing their general abilities as well as achieving National Certificate’s in Retail at Levels 2 and 3. Apprentices are supported by Retail Institute and a coordinator who mentors them.