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.

Belinda MacDonald
Head of Learning and Development,
Fantastic Furniture

Become a Committee Member

Upcoming Events

ARA Gala No.1

We invite you to join us for the annual ARA Gala No. 1, a spectacular black-tie dinner celebrating the future and innovation of Australian retail. Hear the inspiring voices and

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Alison Geddes


The ARA’s Annual CEO Lunch brings together senior leaders from across Australia’s $400 billion retail sector to reflect on high-calibre, agenda-setting discussions – this year with a focus on reconciliation

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