Training of Retail Trainers


On average, around 13% of the workforce in European Union countries are active in the retail sector. Considering this high percentage, it is notable how little emphasis has been placed on training for this specific sector. Vocational Education and Training (VET) for retail employees is underprivileged in Europe in comparison to other trades and sectors. By strengthening VET in the retail industry, employees become more qualified, whilst customers receive better service and enterprises raise their competition rates. Recent analysis of vocational education and training in the retail sector in Iceland clearly show that the main requirement lies in establishing a standardised and validated training system for the retail employee. In many retail chains, there is a striking lack of harmonised training systems among individual outlets within the chain. Although the situation differs among the participating countries in the RETRAIN project (Iceland, Ireland, Austria), the general situation is similar.


Aims and target group

The project focuses on efficiently and successfully providing skills required for shop-keeping management issues, such as product knowledge, operating the cash register, product line-up, inventory maintenance, shrinkage, service management, customer attitudes, environmental issues etc. Teaching skill models have been developed for vocational trainers in other industries and shall be transferred and adjusted into the retail sector by the project. One of the goals of RETRAIN is to contribute to a more qualified vocational training system for this very important service sector in Europe.



The four operative RETRAIN partners will pool their knowledge and experience to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Curriculum for VET organisations with two learning modules on
  • Administration and
  • General organisation of the retail VET system
    - GAP analysis and
    - Seminars on the subject.

The products of this project shall also become a model for other service sectors, such as the tourist industry, particularly when considering the fact that around 70% of the work force in the European Union is employed in the service sector, both private and public.

EU-Program: LLP, Leonardo da Vinci - Transfer of Innovation
Coordination: Bifrost University, Centre for Retail Studies (Iceland)
Contact: Karin Kronika
Duration: October 2013 – September 2015
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.