The government has given the go-ahead for a new diploma in retail business to be taught in schools and colleges across the UK.

From September 2010, the diploma will be taught in 42 partnerships of schools, colleges and training organisations. It will be available all 14- to 19-year-old students who want access to an applied and relevant learning programme while gaining a broad understanding of the retail sector.

The diploma has been developed by Skillsmart Retail, in consultation with Spar, Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury's, and will combine classroom work with workplace experience and retail-based learning.

Retailers have also been invited to get involved by offering work experience and talks.