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The key to  innovative training and education solutions 

Exciting partnership to bring innovation

WIN News 1 October 2018

2018 Workforce Training Innovation Fund launch at Wodonga TAFE

Here’s what Mark Dixon, CEO of Wodonga TAFE, recently had to say about the Retail Connection innovative project, which aligns to the retail industry’s need to produce work-ready, retail sales staff, and retail supervisors, managers and leaders.

"As the CEO of Wodonga TAFE, I, along with the Wodonga TAFE community, am extremely excited to be working with Sacha Brown, Josef Molnar and the YKA team, to deliver genuine training innovation to the retail sector.  Our partnership harnesses the combined benefits of an award-winning TAFE with the amazingly talented team at YKA, to design and develop highly customised content for the retail industry.  The portal design, and the engaging and immersive eLearning content will revolutionise the student experience, and we can't wait to deliver this outcome and to help meet the growing training needs of the retail sector."
Mark Dixon, CEO, Wodonga TAFE    

Mark made these comments in light of the research that was conducted by Wodonga Institute of TAFE and Your Key Australia, which demonstrated the needs of Mark’s wider community, which he is both passionate about, and committed to. 

That research demonstrated that approximately 1,214,600 people (10% of the Australian population) work in the retail industry and that the retail industry employs more managers than any other managerial occupations Australia wide. Further to this, the retail industry is Australia’s largest private provider of employment, employing approximately 46,300 supervisors, and the fourth largest employer of managers (approx. 220,500).  

These numbers are expected to experience a steady to strong growth over the next 10 years, and in their Jobs and Training Needs Report – Hume (2018), the State of Victoria (Department of Education and Training) reported that in 2018 and beyond, there will be a significant increase in the need for qualified retail workers including retail managers, sales assistants and checkout operators, and a moderate increase in the need for retail supervisors. 

Further research shows, however, that only 47% to 48% of retail industry supervisors and managers hold a qualification at Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) level 3 or above, and only 13% to 16% hold a qualification at degree level, which is less than half of all other occupations nationwide (Retail and Personal Services Training Council’s Environmental Scan, 2015). 

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The Retail Connection training model will bring together a retail portal, along with online and workplace based training opportunities to fill these gaps. In line with the research conducted, the training model has been designed to impart on learners the skills, knowledge and attitudes required to achieve outcomes required by the retail sector, that include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Dynamic leadership and management skills
  • Creative customer service skills
  • Collaborative team work skills
  • Experience retailing skills for creative merchandising and promotions
  • Improved resilience, confidence and critical thinking skills
  • Improved planning, organising and problem-solving skills

The Retail Connection Portal will provide support to members and learners.  It will link learners to their online learning environment, offer webinars, a retail panel and a communal meeting point for retail employers, employees and potential employees.  Portal members and learners will learn from each other, seek advice and provide guidance and support on matters relating to the retail industry, and local, state and national retail matters. It will also link retail employers with current and potential retail employees.

We look forward to bringing you more on Retail Connection in the weeks and months to come.