Wodonga TAFE supporting retailers through industry change

Wodonga TAFE supporting retailers through industry change

By Susan Burdett
29 Aug 2017

retail sector training

Wodonga TAFE is engaging with retailers to help them effectively adapt to the evolving retail landscape and develop the capability to become more competitive in a rapidly changing industry. A new research project to be conducted by the TAFE will investigate challenges and changes in the retail sector. The research project will involve extensive research with retailers across regional Victoria, to gain a greater understanding of the sector and to identify a solution to assist retailers to:

  • adapt and respond to changes in retail
  • drive a competitive advantage within local and international markets
  • sustain and grow sales and profitability
  • employ new staff, and motivate and engage existing staff, and
  • continue as a significant contributor to the Victorian economy.

Wodonga TAFE invites all retailers, employees, and associated stakeholders in regional Victoria to share their views about the outlook for Australian retail by completing an online survey, available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/retailconnectionresearch.

There is an added incentive of free business advice to the value of $2000 available for one survey respondent, to be provided by Marguerite Bell from ‘Retail Life’.

The research project will conclude with an overview of survey findings, research, and the presentation of a proposed solution at two public workshops for retailers and stakeholders, on Tuesday 31 October at 6pm-8pm, and Wednesday 1 November at 7am-9am, at TAFEspace, 158 Lawrence Street, Wodonga. 

This project is in direct response to feedback received by Wodonga TAFE from local small and medium enterprise retailers, who are concerned that their traditional retail operating model is under threat from retail chains and larger retailers from Australia as well as the imminent arrival of overseas retailers. This feedback casts doubt on Australian Bureau of Statistics employment growth data for retail in our local region.

Employment is predicted to grow 8.7% in the Hume region (8.4% across Australia) by the end of 2020. Source: 2016 Regional employment projections, ABS, 2016. http://lmip.gov.au/PortalFile.axd?FieldID=2787737&.xlsm

Project Leader, Ms Joanne Heeps, said she anticipated that this initial research project would underpin a second phase of project development and short-term trial of an innovative solution for retailers.

“The next stage of this exciting project will involve building connections. We are anticipating project outcomes that enable opportunities for collaboration, networking, and training opportunities to help retailers adapt to change in retail industry and continue in their sector, which is a significant contributor to the economy”, said Ms Heeps.  

Wodonga TAFE, along with industry stakeholders, hopes to seek state funding to trial a potential solution in 2018.