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Retail Skills & Quality Board

Driving the quality of retail apprenticeships and aligning other workplace skills and vocational education activities through one strategic, employer-led board.

The Retail Skills & Quality Board brings together the retail apprenticeship trailblazer and retail apprenticeship (EQA) board to form one employer-led skills and quality board which will drive the quality of apprenticeships, ensuring they remain fit for purpose, but also have a wider interest to align other workplace skills and vocational education activities in the UK.

Critically, the board brings together employers and other stakeholders, including industry bodies and learning provider representation, to act with ‘one voice’.

Facilitated by People 1st, the board will operate a number of important sub groups which will be critical to achieve its objectives. Bringing the groups together under one board will help align the variety of skills related activities undertaken in the sector.

Members of the board

Members, carefully selected for their combined expertise and passion in skills and apprenticeships, will each will play a significant role in helping to ensure we have a planned and coordinated approach to skills, which can only be achieved through a genuine partnership between employers, delivery partners and other relevant stakeholders.

  • Lloyd Thomas, apprenticeship partner, The Co-operative Group (Chair)
  • Ruth Jennings, skills development programmes manager , Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd (Vice Chair)
  • Lynsey Taylor, apprenticeship manager, Asda Stores Ltd 
  • Ralph La Fontaine, head of careers & learning, British Retail Consortium
  • Caroline Gasgoine, national qualifcations manager, DFS Furniture Holdings
  • Effie Burrell, learning and development consultant, East of England Co-Operative Society Ltd
  • Mandy Bader, group learning & development manager, EWM Group of Companies
  • Jim Murphy, training and development manager, Iceland Foods Plc
  • Preeti Sumal, partner and development manager, John Lewis Partnership plc
  • Joanna Longman, capability manager - colleagues, Marks and Spencer plc
  • Garry Barnes, learning and development advisor, Matalan
  • Linda Avis, head of hr, Savers Health & Beauty
  • Sue Renny, apprenticeship programme manager, Superdrug Stores
  • Greg Stewart, apprenticeship levy manager, Tesco Stores Limited
  • Rachael Snell, funeralcare apprenticeship delivery manager, The Co-operative Group
  • Katherine Newson, commercial capability manager, Travis Perkins Group Development


Nominate influencers to join the board

We're looking for new members with a strong passion for skills, learning and development to join the board.

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Retail standards

View the apprenticeship standards, assessment plans and progression routes for retail.

Find out more