Employment and Skills

The ARA’s Employments and Skills Advisory Committee provides the retail industry with strategic leadership insights to Human Resources and learning and development best practices.

The Committee consists of HR and L&D professionals and provides leadership insights on issues relating to learning, future workforce needs, skill benchmarks and trends.

It has a history of achievement that gives effect to the Retail Institute and its depth of expertise in retail.

The Committee supports the development of Retail As a Career through strategic initiatives which focus on the three key aspects of: attract, develop and retain.

  • Eligibility: Senior L&D/HR/People & Culture representatives nominated by premium ARA members.


Diploma of Retail Merchandise Management
(Buying and Merchandise Planning)

  • Directly stemming from committee consultation
  • Course design and accreditation
  • Over 100 learners represented by over 30 different retail brands have commenced the Diploma
  • New enrolments were received in May and June 2020

Placement Programs

  • Secured National and State funding which has helped run specific indigenous, migrant and refugee programs

Advocacy for Retail Skills

  • Advocated for appropriate duration and effectiveness of training to better meet the needs of the retail sector through submissions and lobbying
To identify and respond to the current and emerging skills needs and workforce challenges of the retail sector. A source of intelligence and advice regarding workforce issues, employer needs and education and training initiatives to meet current and future industry requirements.

Key Recent Issues

  • Retail Careers Advocacy
  • Digital Skills Training (accredited & non-accredited)
  • Retail Supply Chain Training (accredited & non-accredited)
  • University Pathways – Retail specific Graduate Certificate
  • Manage Customer Aggression & Infection Control Skillsets
  • Workwell Learning Networks update
  • SDA-Nobody Deserves a Serve/Respect & Resilience (campaign & training)
  • Jobseeker Programs
  • Retail Ready Jobs Program
  • Victorian WorkSafe Learning Network

Participating Retailers include:

API, Chemist Warehouse, Super Retail Group, Mecca, Myer, Fantastic Holdings, 7-Eleven, Retail Prodigy Group, TEEG, McDonalds, Heinemann, Brand Collective, JB-Hi-Fi and many more.

Committee Leaders

Belinda MacDonald
Head of Learning and Development, Fantastic Furniture

Become a Committee Member

Upcoming Events

Amy Melsom

2022 ARA Christmas Insights Breakfast

The inaugural ARA Christmas Insights Breakfast event will herald in the Christmas trading season for our retail community. Hear first-to-market seasonal data insights and predictions from leading industry experts. Enjoy

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Amy Melsom

SMH Sustainability Summit

Sustainability has been front and centre of this year’s Federal Election campaign reflecting the importance the community places on the future of the planet. Organisations have, so far, been ahead

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Amy Melsom

Future Warehouse 2022

Disruption from COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the supply chain network globally, forcing all business leaders to rethink in order to successfully partner and innovate starting from the epicentre of

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