New Retail Academy connects jobseekers to opportunities at McArthurGlen Designer Outlet


A training academy has launched in Cannock to help local people pursue job opportunities at the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet opening in 2020. The designer outlet will create 1,000 jobs for locals when it opens on Mill Green in Cannock.

Workers began clearing the site to make way for a £160 million McArthurGlen Designer Outlet in July and towards the end of January this year work began to erect steel frames on the site, which will make up shops. The finished site will be completed by 2020 with phase one set to be home to 80 luxury brands. There will also be a number of restaurants and cafes, a children’s play area, bike parking for cyclists and 1,400 car parking spaces.

Jobseekers can sign up now for the Access to Retail Employability Programme delivered by Walsall College. The Programme is developed with the Designer Outlet in mind so it gives applicants a competitive edge ahead of the official recruitment process. Over two weeks, trainees will receive an overview of retail operations as well as develop an understanding of brand image and the customer experience.

Cannock Chase Council, Cannock Job Centre Plus and McArthurGlen are all supporting the College’s employability programme.

Debbie Illidge, Senior Curriculum Leader at the College said:

“The McArthurGlen Designer Outlet is set to be one of the area’s biggest employers so it makes sense for them to start identifying potential staff to embody their retail and customer-service values. Recruiting individuals directly from the area is a fantastic way of investing in local skills and we are pleased to take a lead role in this.”

John Ralston, McArthurGlen’s Regional Operations Director for the UK, France and Belgium, commented:

“Our new designer outlet will be a major visitor attraction in the West Midlands when it opens next year, generating 1,000 jobs for the local area and supporting around £20 million of employment income every year. We’re delighted to be partnering with Walsall College and Cannock Chase District Council to launch this employment programme, helping local people get the skills they need to benefit from the range of opportunities we’ll be creating but also elsewhere in the retail sector.”

After completing the programme, trainees will kept informed of recruitment opportunities coming up at the outlet in the near future.

The Academy also provides basic IT, CSCS and apprenticeship training on site.