Kaikorai Valley College pupil Thomas Van Dyk (18) helps The Warehouse product services supervisor Camille Boorer stock shelves at the chain's South Dunedin store yesterday. photo by Peter McIntosh.
A new education programme has been established in Otago and
Southland schools with the aim of helping pupils make the
transition from school to workplace by giving them experience
at The Warehouse stores.
The Red Shirts in Schools programme offers training in
customer service, identified by the retail industry as
essential for the retail workplace, including communication
skills, personal presentation, product knowledge and
Red Shirts in Schools Otago/Southland co-ordinator Tui Hill
said until recently, the programme was only available to
pupils at schools in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
However, it had just been introduced in The Warehouse stores
in South Dunedin, Gore and Invercargill and there were six
schools participating, including Queen's High School,
Kaikorai Valley College and East Otago High School.
Ms Hill said the programmes further north had seen pupils
blossom into ''fabulous retail experts'' and one pupil had
even been invited to join the Future Leaders programme, a
Warehouse Training Initiative offered to promising young team
She said there were only six pupils from Dunedin
participating in the programme at present but it was hoped
the programme could be expanded to include up to 60 pupils
per week for each store.
Ms Hill said the programme was based on the Retail
Institute's Customer Service Award and pupils could earn
credits towards a National Certificate in Retail (Level 2)
while they worked.
''So far, the pupils have been really positive - it's much
better than what they expected.
''Because they're not used to working around customers, it's
growing their confidence a lot. It's teaching them basic life
The present cohort of pupils would finish their training at
the end of the school year and a new group would begin on
February 24 next year, she said.