An innovative retail training initiative to support employer-led training that focuses on job outcomes will be launched in Melbourne today by the Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator Birmingham. 

“The New Retail Series is developing ‘fit for purpose’ training and involves employers in the development of qualifications and training requirements,” said Senator Birmingham.

“Two dedicated components comprise the new training service, addressing identified skills gap in merchandise management and online retailing. 

“The model is one that will benefit everybody, providing employees with cutting edge training that is relevant to their everyday work, and giving employers’ work-ready staff that are able to deliver from day one. 

“Retail is the largest employing industry of workers aged 15-24 years and is often a launching pad into the workforce, offering many young people their first job and equipping them with skills they use throughout their career.

“As a significant contributor to the Australian economy and the largest private employer in Australia it is vital to have a strong and responsive retail sector.

“133,378 Australian retail businesses employ over 1.2 million people – 10.7 per cent of the total workforce. 

“Better merchandise management and, in particular, improved online retailing skills can help to cement the important role of retail well in to the future.

The New Retail Series has been developed by the industry for the industry. This series of pilot training programs is dedicated to addressing the skills and training gaps identified by Australian retail employers in a quick, responsive and flexible way.

“Our government is committed to a VET system that focuses on students, and ensures that the training they receive, wherever they receive it, is of the highest quality and is targeted to job outcomes,” Senator Birmingham said.

“Labor failed to support training that met employers’ needs, instead it wasted taxpayer funding on training for training’s sake.

“Our VET reforms will boost employment prospects of employees and students and lift business productivity, ultimately improving the competitiveness of Australia's economy.”