Oban pupils become apprentices at M&S

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Primary school pupils in Oban helped run the M&S Oban Foodhall for a day last week.

M&S welcomed youngsters from St Columba’s and Park primaries on Friday, just ahead of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, which started on Monday March 4.

Stuart Mackinnon, store manager of M&S Oban with pupils from Park Primary School. 17_T10_M&S02
Stuart Mackinnon, store manager of M&S Oban with pupils from Park Primary School. 17_T10_M&S02
Pupils from St Columba's Primary School helped run Oban M&S for the day. 17_T10_M&S01
Pupils from St Columba’s Primary School helped run Oban M&S for the day. 17_T10_M&S01

The group of primary pupils spent the day shadowing store colleagues, learning how the outlet operates and gaining insights into how stock is ordered, as well as customer service and recycling.

The visit to the store, which opened last August, supports the schools’ efforts to provide children with knowledge about the world of work at an early age.

Stuart Mackinnon, manager of M&S Oban, said: ‘We all really enjoyed having the children visit the store, showing them around and helping them learn new skills – whether it was giving them examples of how we serve customers at the till and ordering stock or how we all work together as a large team.

‘Retail contributes to around 10 per cent of Scottish jobs – the second highest single employer after the health sector – so it’s very likely that some of these pupils will embark on a career in this industry.

‘We were keen to share more insight into the industry and the different routes to employment. They seemed to have enjoyed their day with us which we’re delighted about.’

Michaelina MacLellan, head teacher at St Columba’s Primary School, said: ‘Preparing children for the different employment avenues available to them is becoming increasingly important at a young age.

‘This has been a great opportunity for our students to see first-hand the retail sector in action and it’s great that the new M&S is really embedding itself as part of the community.

‘The children had a wonderful day learning new skills during our visit and I’m sure that the trip will have given the children plenty of food for thought.’