PITCH UP FOR RETAIL INITIATIVE – Introductory note for market operators

What is the Pitch Up For Retail idea?

  1. Nabma and NMTF are keen to develop the PUFR idea to deliver business start-up schemes, as one of the ways in which to ensure the next generation of traders. They are keen to see if the model set out below that has worked so successfully in Kirklees from 2014 to 2017 could be transferred elsewhere, with the core of the initiative of partnership working between local colleges and markets delivering practical entrepreneurship skills and work experience, being rolled out across the country. This will help the markets industry ensure it has a new generation of market traders with the appropriate skills to play their part on local economies, jobs and sustainable town centres.


  1. For colleges, it is an opportunity to enhance employer engagement, work readiness and to provide work-experience, through a range of activities including:
  • Live briefs
  • Apprenticeships
  • Work experience
  • Enhancing and assessing skills such as
  • Visual Display Merchandising
  • Customer Service
  • Financial management
  • Stock control
  • Health and safety


  1. For the students, it is designed to create a supportive learning experience, through the medium of market trading. Contributing to the development of their interpersonal skills, perhaps improving their economic welfare and creating a clear progression opportunity for self-employment.


  1. For traders, the project provides the opportunity for business growth through use of work placements – hopefully leading to further growth and permanent employment. It also leads to skill development – as the student traders are encouraged to develop and share their digital skills and knowledge of social media, the latest business theories or their experience. It is an opportunity for them to adapt their business model to fit with the younger generation. The project also aims to give added vibrancy to markets, as new, younger traders selling exciting new lines/service that complement the traditional offerings, are bound to attract new customers.


How will it work?

Colleges. Local education sector to offer one training workshop in enterprise skills per term, focused on starting a lean business with a model utilising markets. (This could be one way for them to fulfil the new Ofsted requirement for all students to do a minimum number of 35 hours hours of work experience per year):

  • Enterprise students – incorporate into a module, for example on business planning. Testing out the business plan is a crucial component and a market the ideal platform.
  • Non-enterprise students – offer a one-off training session or a series of bite-size workshops on market trading skills.
  • Build into a set of peer judging criteria across four categories: Best product, best merchandising (flash), best customer service, best social media. These will test skills on the stall.

Market operators. Providing at least one trading opportunity on a market appropriate to the local area and the offer of a pitch on a defined start-up scheme on a regular traditional retail market. This could be:

  • A Youth Market for traders aged 16 to 30, held on a regular basis (e.g. monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, or once per term)
  • Dedicated ‘zone’ for young people in an established traditional retail market (daily, weekly) or a regular specialist market (e.g. arts and craft, artisan and farmers, vintage and retro; weekly, monthly).
  • The market or market-type event could incorporate a wide range of trades that young people are passionate about. This includes art, music and performance;
  • Start-up scheme could incorporate staggered rents over an agreed period and peer to peer mentoring from a trader on the market;
  • Operators will be offered the opportunity to work with the NMTF, through the provision of Taster Membership, to support test-trading.

The Market Operator’s role is to:

  • To provide one main point of contact for the colleges
  • To identify opportunities and space within their facilities
  • Look at opportunities for taking work-experience students actively marketed to traders
  • Traders identified for providing work experience opportunities. Then traders and college have meeting to discuss expectations and requirements of work experience;
  • Health and safety paperwork completed;
  • Agree policies and processes for trading– create a memorandum of understanding, including: scope of products, terms of usage and expected outcomes;
  • Continuous informal performance review of student traders by experienced traders and market manager, support and advice given regularly on an ad hoc basis;
  • Reviewing and revising partnership and individual performance, based on measurable data.
  • Encourage progression into full/part time employment through market trading.



Contact Us

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

This website uses cookies to give you the best experience. Agree by clicking the 'Accept' button. If you click 'Decline', you may continue to use the website, but it may not function correctly. To read our full privacy policy you can visit here.