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Budding Retail Experts Secure Roles at Dobbies Antrim Through Employment Academy

Dobbies, the UK’s leading garden centre retailer, is growing its line-up of retail experts in Northern Ireland through a new partnership with Antrim and Newtownabbey Labour Market Partnership (LMP).

Labour Market Partnerships are funded by the Department for Communities and create targeted employment action plans for council areas, allowing for collaboration at local and regional level to support people towards and into work. 

The news came ahead of the opening of Dobbies new 110,000 sq ft store at The Junction on 5 October 2023 which is the biggest in its UK-wide portfolio and home to a 120-strong team of full and part-time team members.

To assist with the recruitment process, Dobbies and Antrim and Newtownabbey Labour Market Partnership, have developed two one-week employment academies. The academy consists of training in customer service, employability, first aid and personal development and equips participants with the skills and confidence to successfully secure a new role.

So far, 12 participants of the academy have secured roles in the new Antrim store. Positions include roles across customer services, operations, the warehouse and the restaurant.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Mark Cooper commends the Council for supporting Dobbies recruitment drive.  He said;

“I am delighted that the Council were able to assist with recruitment through employment academies.  I would like to welcome Dobbies to The Junction as they open their flagship store. This marks a significant investment in our community, with the creation of 120 jobs.  We look forward to a prosperous partnership and continued growth together.  I would also like to highlight the great work of the Labour Market Partnership who are always developing new ways to improve labour market conditions within the Borough.”


Daniel Connell, from the Antrim area joined the horticulture team ahead of the opening in October. He said:

“I really enjoyed the LMP academy as I got the opportunity to magnify the skills I already have and also learn more, particularly in the customer service field. Having been in the motor industry for 30-years, I’m really excited about this new challenge and look forward to working at the new Dobbies in Antrim to support customers and showcase everything I learned.”

Paul Green, Head of People Experience, at Dobbies, said:

“We are proud to be working with Antrim and Newtownabbey LMP on this important initiative as part of our recruitment drive for the new Antrim store. Inspiring the next generation of retail experts is important to Dobbies, creating opportunities in the communities in which we operate is central to our success.”

Dobbies Antrim store opened on Thursday 5 October at 10:00.

For more information on Antrim and Newtownabbey LMP visit: https://antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk/skills