Finding your perfect match in retail

Employing the right candidate can be hard, but the Retail Ready Jobs Program gives employers a head start.

As the retail industry continues to adjust to various challenges, retail businesses are under considerable pressure to deliver quality customer service. Being in a highly competitive sector, recruiting the right talent, that aligns with your brand’s mission statement can be time-consuming and costly.

With great service being the key to retail success, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) assists retailers with the recruitment process. Representing over 7,500 local and international members in more than 40,000 locations, the ARA’s training department, the Retail Institute, matches passionate jobseekers with progressive retailers through the Retail Ready Jobs Program.

The seven-week employment program, supported by a team of program managers, trainers and administrators, provides the pathway to skill talented people through an intensive education and job placement program and prepares them for the diversity of roles in retail.

The ARA Retail Ready Jobs Program not only provides employers an easy way to find talent, it also provides job seekers an opportunity to support themselves financially, continue their education and provide an opportunity for a long-term career in the industry. Of the participants who have completed the program, 96% said they now felt prepared and confident working in a retail environment.

Brodie Lane, a recent participant in the ARA Retail Ready Jobs Program, is one of the candidates that has secured a casual employment through the program with Home Timber and Hardware at their Nowra store in New South Wales.

Home Timber and Hardware’s Store Manager, Greg Seymour, believes the Retail Ready Jobs Program is a great idea for those looking to enter the workforce.

“This ARA’s retail training program really helps candidates settle in. It also helps us understand what their capable of before we hire them.”

Elizabeth Krop, one of the ARA’s Program Managers, said she knew Brodie’s brightness and enthusiasm would suit the Home Timber and Hardware culture.

“Brodie’s personality style, skill level and ability to multitask matched perfectly with Home Timber and Hardware’s family-oriented environment. He fit in immediately and thrived,” Ms Krop said.

At the end of his work placement Brodie received a job offer, starting with two shifts a week. Since then, he has moved to a full-time position.

Brodie found the ARA’s Retail Ready Jobs Program gave him a head start when transitioning to a practical, hands-on environment.

“Once they realised the skills I did have, especially the ones I learnt through the course, that’s when I began to feel part of the team, and that’s when they realised I was an asset.”

Home Timber and Hardware is just one example of numerous retailers who have already reaped the benefits from the ARA’s Retail Ready Jobs Program. The ARA’s strong relationship with retail members, matched with the association’s great connection with job-active providers, allows the ARA’s Employment Trainers find the right staff for the right retailer.

The ARA’s Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman, said the alignment that has been created between the ARA Retail Institute, Employment Service Providers and Retailers through the Retail Ready Jobs Program has generated long-term and meaningful employment for thousands of participants nationally.

“The ARA are passionate about transforming retail from a stepping-stone industry, to a long-term and fulfilling career,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“By investing in the next generation of retail leaders through training courses like the ARA Retail Ready Program we cannot only sustain growth across the industry but ensure the longevity of Australian retail.”

The ARA’s Retail Ready Jobs program provides an entry level employment pathway for jobseekers into the retail industry. This program is free for all sized retailers, connecting passionate jobseekers with job-active providers and positioning retail as a long-term fulfilling career.

For more information regarding the ARA’s Retail Ready Jobs program please visit



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