Connecting more young Australians to a career in retail

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is partnering with The Careers Department (TCD) to highlight the benefits of working in retail as part of a National Schools Tour that will reach at least 40,000 students over the next 12 months.

The partnership, which comes ahead of National Skills Week (August 22-28), will promote careers in retail, training pathways and job opportunities for school leavers looking to enter the workforce.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra said retail is one of the most exciting and diverse career paths offering a wide range of roles – from sales and customer service to digital, data, sustainability and supply chain positions. Referencing his own retail career path from the shop floor to managing one of Australia’s biggest department stores, Mr Zahra said:

“Retail is where many of us started off our careers and it provides many Australians with their first employment experience. One in ten Australians work in retail and the sector employs more young people than most. It’s an industry that caters to all sorts of interests and passions – whether you love fashion, sport, beauty or technology, there’s sure to be a role to match,” Mr Zahra said.

“Retail goes well beyond the shop floor – there are creative roles across branding, marketing and visual merchandising. There are roles in buying and supply chains around how goods are procured, quantified, transported and stored; data and digital roles and plenty more.

“The CEOs of some of our biggest retailers started off their careers on the shop floor and progressed through the ranks to be where they are today. It’s an industry that can lead to a long and rewarding career, and it’s why we’re excited to be partnering with The Careers Department so we can showcase the best of what retail has to offer.”

TCD was built on the ethos that no Australian should be disadvantaged from reaching their career potential by their locality, school infrastructure or immediate pool of influencers. It provides a digital careers program for students, parents and schools right across Australia and also hosts an annual National Schools Tour that educates students on the future of work.

TCD’s Co-Founder, Samantha Devlin, says the tour “focuses on bringing industry to students, widening their concept of careers and breaking down misconceptions. ​Students can only be what they see and we are proud to be showing them all the options within our interactive workshops.”

“The ARA identified the value of the ‘In School workshop’ and how these shared experiences among students can help change the future of the Australian workforce. We’re excited to see how this partnership between ARA and TCD can shape students views around retail careers.”

The theme for this year’s National Skills Week is A Universe of Skills: Go Beyond Your Imagination. More information around training opportunities is available through the ARA Retail Institute – our registered training organisation.


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About us: The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the oldest, largest and most diverse national retail body, representing a $400 billion sector that employs 1.3 million Australians and is the largest private sector employer in the country. As Australia’s peak retail body, representing more than 120,000 retail shop fronts and online stores, the ARA informs, advocates, educates, protects and unifies our independent, national and international retail community. To learn more about ARA’s exclusive member benefits and more, visit



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