The lockdown has proven to be a testing time for the retail and hospitality sector, which is why many will be welcoming the prospect of things returning to normal soon. That goes double for ambitious professionals who have put their career plans on pause over the last few months, but are raring to make a fresh start in a dream role.

But what can these hungry candidates do in the meantime to make these dreams a reality? With many businesses still not in a position to hire, the best option right now is to take the opportunity to develop your skills, picking up new industry expertise and accreditations to make your next application as attractive as possible!

If this is what you choose to do, you won’t need to do it without help. Over the last few weeks, the government and leading industry organisations have released a series of free online training resources for retail and hospitality professionals; created by top experts, these courses will help you learn and diversify your expertise, helping you craft an amazing CV that will really turn heads.

Explore the courses and programmes below to see how you can get a step ahead of the pack and make yourself an essential hire for retailers and hospitality businesses in the near future!

General Training Resources

The Skills Toolkit

Looking to brush up on your digital and numeracy skills during the lockdown? The government-backed Skills Toolkit has got you covered. Launched by the National Careers Service, this resource is filled with useful courses crafted by top organisations, and is regularly updated with new additions.

Designed to provide a range of home learning options for basic, intermediate and advanced learners, the Toolkit’s topics range from maths proficiency to coding and social media use, with professionally-accredited programmes from names like The Open University, FutureLearn, Lloyds Bank, the University of Leeds, Google Digital Garage and Cisco Networking Academy.

You can work through any of these courses in your own time and at your own pace, giving you the best chance of effectively learning what you need to know to make a big splash in the reopening jobs market!

Coronavirus Course Essentials

Anyone working in retail and hospitality knows that coronavirus will bring about big changes to the way these companies do business. As such, there’s going to be a real need for professionals who are trained and ready for this new normal - and that’s a niche you should be looking to fill!

The Coronavirus Course Essentials database from Learning Pool can help with this, providing a library of free CPD-accredited e-learning modules covering all aspects of working in a post-COVID-19 landscape. It includes information on effective remote working, conference call etiquette, and how to stay physically and mentally healthy during lockdown - all vital knowledge in this strange new world.

By spending some time making yourself an expert on working safely in the current conditions, you’ll be able to mark yourself out from the crowd and make yourself indispensable to any new employer.

Retail and Hospitality Training Resources

Alison Retail Courses and Alison Tourism and Hospitality Courses

Alison is one of the leading names in free online training, and the service has a whole host of resources available for retail and hospitality staff to hone their skills and expand their knowledge during this lockdown.

Retail professionals can get trained on communication, customer service, business management, IT and numeracy with Alison, while the tourism and hospitality course have modules on all sorts of key management issues and trends affecting hotels and food service companies.

Check out their full range of courses - they’re comprehensive, industry-approved, and totally free of charge. Perfect for lockdown learning!

Think Employment Hospitality Level 2 Course

Courtesy of Think Employment, hospitality professionals looking to enhance their skills can enrol for free on a fully-featured course designed specifically to boost employability.

The online Level 2 Hospitality course will help you to develop your knowledge and understanding of delivering excellent customer service through a combination of video content and online resources, all of which you can work through at your own pace. Even better, one-to-one tutor support is also included, through live webinars that let you ask questions and interact with others taking the course.

It’s totally free for anyone over the age of 19 who’s lived in the EU for the past three years, so if you’re interested, there’s no downside to signing up!

vision2learn Customer Service Level 2 Course

No matter how experienced you are, it can never hurt to enhance your customer service skills when working in retail and hospitality. With the Customer Service Level 2 course from vision2learn, you can sign up to do just that.

Lasting between nine and 11 weeks, this programme includes modules on understanding the needs of your organisation, the principles of customer service, the value of communication and the importance of understanding your client base. All of these skills are key essentials that can really make a difference.

By signing up, you can receive a Level 2 Certificate in Customer Service that will help to ensure your future applications look that bit more impressive.

Strive Training Home-Based Courses

Strive Training is also offering another great pathway for professionals to earn fully accredited Level 2 qualifications without leaving your home, which once again are 100% for anyone over the age of 19.

A selection of retail and hospitality courses are on offer - including modules on retail operations and management of spectator events - as well as more general business, leadership and management courses that can really help to diversify your talents.

By trying some of these courses out, you’ll be able to emerge from the lockdown with a broader and deeper range of skills - perfect for those keen to become an important part of the retail and hospitality sector’s big comeback!

Get in Touch