This New £500,000 Academy is Going to Give the City’s Retail & Leisure Industry a Boost

· Joseph Sheerin · Business

Leeds now has a bespoke retail and hospitality academy.

Ambition: Leeds Academy

Ambition:Leeds is an innovative academy that will help our retail and hospitality workers reach their potential.

Leeds is already a hotspot for retail and hospitality. In fact, these two sectors create more jobs than any other in the city. Add the fact that Leeds is the third best place to shop in the UK outside of London, and you’ll soon see why Leeds BID, Leeds City Council and Landsec have launched Ambition:Leeds, a £500,000 academy that will nurture talent in the retail and hospitality industry.

The academy will help students learn their craft and hone their skills through a series of courses, workshops and masterclasses. It’s something the industry has been pushing for, and with good reason. Over the next 10 years, employment in the wholesale and retail sector is expected to grow by 12%, while the food services sector will grow by 13%, so we need to be ready to fill those roles. The new academy will help us to capitalise on industry’s success and expand its talent pool to support future growth.

Thewlis Cocktail Lounge

“The retail and hospitality sector in the city is flourishing and it is imperative we continue to grow and support it with highly-skilled staff, Dianne Wainwright, manager of the new academy, told us. “Ambition:Leeds provides a great opportunity for employees to access the education, skills and training they need to help them on the path to a successful career”

Ambition:Leeds is already open for classes on the recently refurbished 6th floor of the City Exchange building. It’s split into three parts – their biggest training room can hold large groups or even entire departments, while their two smaller rooms offer a more intimate training experience. There’s wifi throughout, and they even have a kitchen and breakout space for attendees to share ideas.

Their programme is designed for existing and prospective talent who want to forge a career in the retail and leisure industry. It covers all bases, so you can take on everything from entry-level training, apprenticeships and one-off masterclasses to accredited courses and degree programmes. And each one is delivered by their education partners, which include Leeds City College, Leeds Beckett University and The Source Skills Academy.

Crafthouse Tasting Menu

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Their courses are designed to work around you, with everything from bite-sized 2-hour sessions to year-long programmes – and you can study all manner of subjects. They’ve covered every aspect of the industry, so you could learn how to be a chef or a hairdresser with a hands-on apprenticeship, but equally, you could move into management, HR or marketing with courses that are designed to build on your existing skillset.

Prices for all of their sessions depend on the course or class you take. They’ve also made sure it’s accessible to as many people as possible – If you’re unemployed, you can get access to subsidised training courses which are designed to get people back into work.

Ambition:Leeds is future-proofing the city’s retail and leisure industry by giving people a chance to get better training and better jobs – it won’t be long before we see the benefit on the city’s high street.

Ambition:Leeds Academy, City Exchange, 11 Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5ES.