9 November 2017
The clothes shop which is located at the front of the campus on Romford Road, sells new clothes from a variety of retailers. All of the products have been provided to the shop on a ‘sale or return’ agreement with the retailers.
The College’s frontage houses several shop fronts including a hairdressers and a restaurant where students get real-world work experience with paying customers. The shop in which ‘Unique Boutique’ is homed is used by various groups of students each year; the idea is that the experience of running a business will enhance the students’ learning through practical application.
This term, the shop is being run by eight students who are learning to speak and write in English and also three business enterprise students. For the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students, the boutique is a great opportunity to acquire relevant skills in a British work environment. It also provides an opportunity for the students to practice speaking English to the customers.
The business students, on the other hand, are getting a rare opportunity to practise running their own business and develop entrepreneurial skills.
Howard Jeffrey MBE, Head of Entrepreneurial at Barking & Dagenham College said: “The boutique has been a real success enabling the students to use the skills they have learnt on their courses, practice conversation, gain creditable work experiences and become work ready”.
Narumol Sloan, an adult ESOL student from Hornchurch is thrilled with the experience: “I am a volunteer in Unique Boutique. I need to meet lots of new people and so I can practice speaking English. Since I’ve worked here, it helps me to know how to have a conversation with customers and how to do stock taking. I think that experience is important to find a job”.
The shop is open to the public Monday-Friday from 12pm – 2pm each day.