A website maintained for the Sheffield City Region by the HEPP

Helping apprentices progress into Higher Education

Career Pathways


Retail is the largest private sector employer in the UK – that’s big business! The industry relies heavily on young people; many work in shops as students before moving on to other careers. But many are attracted to it as a career in itself, with fast promotion opportunities, good financial rewards and diverse roles including buying, merchandising as well as sale assistants and managers.

Types of Job

Retail buyer (experienced)
Nation Average Salary: £33,351
Sales Assistant
Nation Average Salary: £17,046
Window dresser
Nation Average Salary: £21,667
Retail manager
Nation Average Salary: £31,801
Customer service
Nation Average Salary: £20,440
Regional Facts

The sector employs approximately 57,600 people and has an output of £1.6 billion in the South Yorkshire. It is expected that there will be 500 additional jobs created this year in Sheffield City Region.

Meadowhall is the tenth largest shopping centre in the UK, with over 280 stores, and attracts 30 million visitors a year.

The retail industry is vital to South Yorkshire; it offers many employment opportunities. Around half the workforce are employed in sales and customer service, with management the second largest group.

For large companies, there are strong links to logistics and distribution (think of all the online shopping that we do!).

Career Facts


  • Teamworking
  • Communication
  • Problem solving
  • Flexibility
  • Customer focus

Useful subjects include:

  • Business Admin
  • Maths
  • English
  • ICT
  • Design

Do you like working with people in a sales environment?
Are you flexible and willing to provide a high standard of customer care?

This work sector has a number of different apprenticeship opportunities and levels, depending on where your interests lie. Retail opportunities are growing locally.

The apprenticeship areas covered by retail include; Retail and Customer Service.

In a Retail apprenticeship you will learn (among other tasks) about stock levels, displaying goods and processing payments.

For Customer Service, you will develop your skills in delivering customer service, communication, telephone skills and at an Advanced level, learn more about principles of business and so on.

Remember to look at entry requirements and progression routes with your chosen providers as part of your decision making process. Talk to as many people as possible and do your research.

Interested? For more information...

Some local employers