FRA News

Retail Gamechanger Apprenticeship launched in collaboration with Scope


19th October 2022

At the Fashion Retail Academy, we’re excited to announce the launch of our Retail Gamechanger Apprenticeship programme, with disability equality charity Scope, on 3 October 2023. 

We’ve designed the programme alongside Scope’s Retail Team, to support four disabled people seeking a career in the retail industry. They’ll be offered work in their local Scope charity shop during the one-year programme. They’ll underpin this practical experience with academic lessons at the Fashion Retail Academy. Once they have completed the course, our apprentices will have earned a Level 3 Retail Team Leader Apprenticeship Standard.  

As well as a formal qualification, the apprentices will gain the skills and confidence they need to find permanent employment. They’ll get experience and training in retail finance, sales, customer service, marketing and communications.


Scope will be placing our apprentices in shops to suit their accessibility requirements, and are coordinating the necessary adjustments through Access to Work. The four apprentices will be working in their local Scope shops in Dewsbury, Durham, Hackney and Liverpool. 

We have worked with many charities over the last 17 years, to deliver our courses and give our students real-life experience of working in major industry brands. However, this is the first time we have supported an apprenticeship programme exclusively available to disabled candidates. 

Fabiola Osei-Hwedieh, Head of Apprenticeships at the Fashion Retail Academy, said: “We're very excited to build on our strategic partnership with Scope to launch the Retail Gamechanger Apprenticeship Programme for aspiring Retail Team Leaders of the future. The first of its kind, this tailored programme offers disabled young people the opportunity to learn and achieve their full potential beyond their expectations. 

“This programme will be delivered by a handpicked team who have relevant academic and industry experience. A dedicated Programme Manager will oversee delivery and learner progress and a range of tutors will teach the modules relevant to their experience. 

“We recognise that every learner is unique and has a personal academic journey. We'll support this journey through a curriculum that meets their needs, whilst enhancing their employability and career opportunities. The FRA delivery team will work with apprentices to develop a broad range of knowledge, skills and behaviours that they need to thrive in their next steps in the retail industry.” 

Through this programme, Scope aims to provide a blueprint for other retailers to launch their own accessible apprenticeship schemes. 

Debbie Boylen, Head of Retail at Scope, added: “We know how hard it is for disabled people to gain and remain in permanent employment. Even at a time of record employment, only half of working-age disabled people are in work. 

“There is a huge amount of disabled talent and potential that companies aren’t tapping into. At Scope, we know that employers who recognise disabled people’s talent in the workplace will thrive. We believe Retail Gamechanger Apprenticeships will provide an exemplary programme for other retailers to learn from.” 

Good luck to our new apprentices!

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