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Unsure what to do after leaving school? Apprenticeships give you the chance to earn whilst you learn!

For over 15 years, the Fashion Retail Academy has successfully delivered fashion and retail courses to over 11,000 students. As a growing college, we are always looking at new courses and delivery methods, and are proud to be collaborating with UK and international retailers to offer Fashion and Retail Apprenticeships.

Our professional Apprenticeship programmes range between Level 2 – Level 6 and are usually between one and three years in duration. During this time, you’ll be employed by a fashion and/or retail brand whilst studying with the FRA to gain an industry-recognised Apprenticeship Standard. Programmes we currently offer include:

  • Buying & Merchandising Assistant L4
  • Assistant Buyer/ Merchandiser L6
  • Retailer L2
  • Retail Team Leader L3
  • Retail Manager L4
  • Retail with Visual Merchandising specialism (L2 - L4)
  • Customer Service Specialist L3
  • Business Administrator L3
  • Fashion Studio Assistant L3

Apprenticeship schemes are driven by our retail partners and their current vacancies.  They can be available at any time of the year, in exactly the same way jobs are. Therefore we can't guarantee a specific programme, level and/or start date.  

If we don't have the apprenticeship you are looking for, check out our courses here

Apprenticeships are driven by businesses, so in our case, the retail partners we work with. Apprenticeship vacancies arise when a retailer decides they want to hire an Apprentice to work in their business in a specific job function, e.g. buying or marketing.

Apprentices are full-time employees and study part-time with an Apprenticeship Training Provider. The Fashion Retail Academy is an Apprenticeship Training Provider for a number of retailers including F&F Tesco, Whistles, and Arcadia to name but a few.

Since our retail partners drive Apprenticeship vacancies, we cannot guarantee what programmes we have running and when. Check below for any current vacancies. If we’re not taking applications for any Apprenticeships, we recommend you look at our full-time coursesWe also provide our students the opportunity to work in a retail role during their course by connecting them with our partner brands who are looking for part-time employees throughout the year programmes. 

"When I joined the L4 Buying & Merchandising Apprenticeship programme, I was 2.5 years into my career with Sainsbury's. I saw it as a great opportunity to learn more about the wider business and it was great to travel down to London every month for development days. I enjoyed immersing myself back into learning again and feel that I gained additional knowledge to support me in my then role. After my first year I became pregnant and paused my learning whilst I went onto maternity leave. When I came back into the business – I was approached by the FRA who wanted to understand how they could support me in completing my qualification whilst working and looking after my son. It was all about balance and both Sainsbury's and the FRA were key in helping me to juggle work, family life and the apprenticeship. At times it was tough but I am so happy to have finally completed the qualification. I gained great feedback from my peers and leaders within the business upon completion and more recently I have been promoted into a new role in Supply Chain."

Melody, Level 4 Buying & Merchandising Apprentice


“I started the  L4 Buying & Merchandising Apprenticeship whilst working as a Buyers Admin, I found it was a great opportunity to learn more in regard to the business side of things and found the modules that were included would strengthen my skill set for the next level of my role. It was a great opportunity to travel to London once a month for the development days and interacting with other people within the wider business that were also doing the course. I found that I gained additional knowledge and confidence from the course and I was promoted to Assistant Buyer within the first year of the course. I became pregnant during the first year of the course so took a year break whilst on maternity leave. When I returned to work, I was approached by the FRA to see if I wanted to carry on with the course and how they could support my learning whilst juggling a full-time job and family life. The return was hard at times, particularly learning to balance all the elements in my life and getting back into a routine. I am really pleased that I continued on with the course when I came back to finish my qualification. I found I was supported by both the tutors and my manager to help with this balance with workload and the practicality of the deadlines that were set. I have received great feedback from course leaders in terms of my work as well as within the business.”

Victoria, Level 4 Buying & Merchandising Apprentice


“What a great eye-opener, it’s a different world of retail where very high value transactions are the norm…I’m currently sourcing rare jewellery pieces for a client in Geneva…my job is to source anything the client wants be it a product, service, luxury holiday, special occasion….Service is elevated to 5-star and beyond…it has to be.”

Jake, Level 3 Retail Team Leader Apprentice

There are a variety of eligibly requirement to take part in an Apprenticeship Programme. These will vary from role to role but you need to be able to tick the following boxes to apply for any programme:

  • I have legally left school and am over 16
  • I have been a resident in the UK or EU for over three years
  • I’m not currently attending another school or college, or in full-time higher education
  • I am not an overseas national with any learning or employment restrictions
  • I’m not in custody as a prisoner, on remand or on probation
  • I’m not taking part any other enterprise programme funded by the UK government or ESFA, or taking part in a EU funded Vocational Training Programme

If you’re unsure if you meet the eligibility requirements please get in touch with our team by emailing



Curriculum Administration Assistant (Fashion Retail Academy)

We have an exciting opportunity for a passionate individual to join the Fashion Retail Academy as a Curriculum Administration Assistant (Apprentice) in our Apprenticeships Department.

Business Administration Assistant (Fashion Retail Academy)

We have an exciting opportunity for a passionate individual to join the Fashion Retail Academy as a Workforce Development Administration Assistant (Apprentice).

Buying and Merchandising Assistant Apprenticeship (DCK Concessions)

DCK are excited to offer Level 4 Buying and Merchandising Apprenticeship opportunities in partnership with the Fashion Retail Academy (FRA). We are therefore on the lookout for great talent who want to kick start their career in Merchandising and Buying.

Sales & Digital Assistant (Diverso)

Exciting opportunity to be involved in a wide variety of areas for a mid-high end menswear brand. Role touches on Retail Sales, Visual Merchandising, Digital & Social Media Content Creation, Graphic Design. Will also show behind the scenes of design, production and everything in between of a menswear brand.

If you are not interested in any of the apprenticeships listed in our website, please feel free to register your interest using the form below, and we will get in touch with you shortly. By completing this form you are consenting to receive information about our courses and apprenticeships.

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