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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 March, 2005, 15:15 GMT
Green starts 20m fashion academy
Philip Green
Philip Green promised to teach 'fundamental skills'
Billionaire retailer Philip Green has set out his plans for a 20m fashion and marketing academy.

Some 60 students aged 16 to 18 will enrol every year, learning the "fundamental skills" needed in the clothing industry, he said.

Mr Green, owner of the Arcadia Group, which includes the high-street store BhS, hopes to launch the academy, in central London, this autumn.

He has previously criticised a "lack of talent" in the UK retail industry.

'Ready for work'

The academy will be set over six floors near Oxford Street , with student numbers eventually growing to 350.

Mr Green said it would "train and prepare the next generation of young people for the work place by teaching and developing the fundamental skills required in the retail Industry".

The academy would bring on "entrepreneurial talents through both unique behind the scenes insight and direct contact" with industry leaders, he added.

Arcadia and the government are each providing half of the 20m start-up cost.

Education Secretary Ruth Kelly said: "By supporting this joint venture Philip Green is showing a real commitment to productive partnership in education.

"The academy will promote fashion retail as a career, and will deliver a flow of young people to the industry with excellent skills."

For first-year students the academy will offer a fashion retail certificate equivalent to GCSE level.

Second years will take a diploma equivalent to A-levels.

Courses will combine lessons and work experience, including "master classes" by bosses and visits to suppliers and factories.

On the curriculum will be design, technology, IT, marketing, visual merchandising and buying.

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