118. There was a similar feeling from local authorities
and others that the RMA needed to do more with regard to recruitment
of market traders and their training. Hackney Council in its evidence
observed that "a barrier to entry for the next generation
of market traders and to some extent market staff for councils
is training. We'd suggest that bodies such as the NMTF take a
more active role in promoting this career option and potentially
looking to provide training",
Darlington Council observed that "one of the advantages of
market trading is that it is very easy to access, but this also
works in reversemost traders fail to put together a proper
business plan, there is (to them) no real access to retail training,
support networks etc"
and City of Westminster Council observed that "a recent consultant
study of street trading in the Oxford Street/Regent Street/Bond
Street Area demonstrated a real lack of retail expertise amongst
many street traders, and the need to provide research and training
to inform business decisions."
One problem, is that traditionally stalls were handed on through
families, but this tradition is now in decline and can, in any
case, sometimes act as a barrier to necessary change. Consultant
Chris New told us that "from my angle, what I see of markets
that are scruffy, badly presented and where there is poor customer
care, clearly there is a desperate need for training."
He felt that "there are some skills that many market traders
need, but they have not got the opportunity because of the way
they worksmall businesses, disparate distances from each
Acknowledging that some NABMA members were already running schemes
whereby a new market trader works alongside an existing one, he
saw merit in more mentoring schemes.
119. The RMA acknowledged the need for more recruitment
of market traders and better training for them. In its written
evidence, it stated that:
Crucially, there is also a lack of new young traders
entering the sector. Markets are an untapped source of employment.
Whilst the RMA is supporting an initiative with Make Your Mark
to attract new entrepreneurs into markets, much more has to be
done, and this remains one of the industry's key priorities.
Graham Wilson further accepted during oral evidence
that "the training that exists at the moment [for market
traders] is largely fragmentary [
] Certainly, as an industry,
we need to bring those together on a national scale."
commend the key market industry organisations for the work they
have done in recent years to establish a coordinated approach
to tackling strategic market industry issues. We recommend that
the industry look in particular at how they can provide further
best practice guidance and support to lower tier councils operating
smaller, local markets and who are more likely to lack specialist
market knowledge. One
key concern for the industry is how they generate the momentum,
and the funding necessary to take these initiatives forward. One
potential source of assistance is central government and, in the
next section, we look more deeply at the role that the Government
should be playing and, equally importantly, what markets can do