Retail personnel experts say that offering training and a career path is the key to tackling high staff turnover in the sector. Delegates at the first Association of Convenience Stores Personnel and Training forum heard speakers from retail and education agree that keeping motivation up is key to retaining staff. But it is through training and development schemes rather than pay rises that employees on all levels are made to feel they have something to contribute to the business. Pam Eccles of the Learning Skills Council said: "For too long the retail sector has had the reputation of being staffed by people who are not in the retail sector as a career choice." She said training allowed employers to capitalise on the wealth of talent in their workforce and paid dividends for employers and employees. Kim Mawby, from United Norwest Co-op, urged the c-store forum to make training a priority in an increasingly competitive sector: "Training will promote a more profitable c-store sector. If everybody pooled their best practice on training we would have a really good business." Former ACS chairman Steven Bell, of Bells Stores, said: "We hear all sorts of statistics, for example that the retail sector has a 49% annual turnover of staff. We have got to start working together to encourage best practice." {{PEOPLE MOVES }}