A new scheme to help independent retailers recruit apprentices without the worry of HR or administration issues will launch across the UK on July 4.

Developed by the National Skills Academy for Retail (NSAR) and piloted last year, the Retail Apprenticeship Scheme (RAS) sees the NSAR recruit, employ and train apprentices before matching them up with suitable stores, saving retailers risk, cost and time.

“There is even an option for smaller businesses to share an apprentice, further easing the burden of cost and responsibility,” Jane Rexworthy, head of the NSAR said.

The July 4 launch will coincide with Independents’ Day, the national campaign to encourage people to shop locally and celebrate high street diversity.

The successful pilot scheme in cities including Manchester, Lincoln and Sheffield had proved that there was a “strong appetite” for retail apprenticeships, Rexworthy added.

“We are also opening up RAS to retailers of all sizes, from independents who may wish to take on one apprentice up to chain stores and national groups where there is a desire to create a whole cohort of apprenticeships,” she added.

For more information on the RAS scheme visit www.nsaforretail.com or call 0207 462 5089.