Trevor Queen Street

News this week of Woolworths’ decision to abandon its failing Masters chain has come as no surprise to the retail and business community, after widely-publicised losses.

Post-Christmas is a time that traditionally sees retailers assessing their performance, with similar announcements having occurred in January in previous years. While we now add Masters to a shortlist of unfortunate stories including Dick Smith and Laura Ashley, these cases are by no means a reflection on the current retail climate, which is experiencing growth and momentum in many quarters.

Economic modelling released by the National Retail Association (NRA) this week indicates that job creation in our sector overall has been strong.

The data, collated by our in-house Business & Industry Intelligence unit, shows as many as 13,000 new jobs were created during December, bringing the total number of people working in retail to over 1.3 million for the first time in Australian history.

These figures are good news for Australia, and they suggest retail is performing more strongly than many other sectors nationwide, as other industries like mining continue to face challenges.

Thinking about the future, and as our sector continues to create new jobs, you should be aware that your association is strongly committed to the training of jobseekers hoping to find work in retail.

Through our training division and our work with governments, we’ve helped launch the retail careers of thousands of people across Australia.

For example, we help to teach jobseekers about the various roles they may come across in retail, we give them valuable skills on personal presentation in the workplace, go through employer expectations, and undergo problem solving, team work and time management scenarios.

On the job work experience is a really valuable component of our jobseeker training, and can be an excellent recruitment tool for employers. Dependant on the circumstances, most of these work experience placements are at no cost to the employer.

Please contact us if you are interested in supporting our sector’s next wave of talent by having work experience trainees in your store.