Plans to develop a 'skills academy' for employees in the retail industry have been given the go-ahead.

The National Retail Skills Academy is one of 12 sector-based centres of excellence the government hopes to have running next year.

Skillsmart Retail, the retailer-led council for skills development, will now set up a UK network of physical and virtual training centres known as Skill Shops, which will also offer careers advice, retail placements and partnerships with schools and colleges.

Each shop will be operated by a partnership of local retailers and training providers. John Lewis and M&S are among the participants.