ARA to offer free retail training to help address skills shortage

Posted by Isobel Drake on 29th August 2008

The ARA Retail Institute is offering free training to industry newcomers and canvassing host employers to provide on-the-job training under the Federal Government’s Productivity Places scheme in a bid to attract more people to the retail industry.

The Federal Government’s Department of Education Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) has funded the ARA’s Retail Employment Pathways program in response to industry pleas for more skilled workers. Under the initiative, DEEWR’s job network partners recruit trainees to the program. The ARA Retail Institute then provides training and matches trainees up with host employers who sign up to the program.

ARA Retail Institute Director Garry Terrill says the industry is experiencing a severe deficit in skilled talent and the program was needed to attract new blood to the industry. “The Retail Employment Pathways program fills the void in the employment marketplace by matching trainees to host employers trying to attract good people into their businesses,” Mr Terrill explained. “By combining classroom and on-the-job training, the free eight week retail certificate course produces job-ready candidates for retail businesses signing up to the program as host employers. Host employers work together with ARA trainers to develop participants providing them with vital industry skills.”

After the initial ten days of classroom training, participants commence their first week with their host employer. The focus then shifts to trainers obtaining feedback from host employers to refine the participant’s skills in the classroom. Mr Terrill says that participants go through the process three times before completing the course to address recurring performance issues.

The ARA Retail Institute is a national registered training organisation (RTO) specialising in the retail sector.

The training is progressively being rolled out throughout Australia and retail businesses seeking to get involved as a host employer can contact the ARA Retail Institute at