Wodonga TAFE students supporting local retailers with Business Wodonga

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Students from Wodonga TAFE are supporting a new Business Wodonga ‘Support Local Shop Local’ initiative that aims to boost retail engagement in central Wodonga. Commencing Monday 9 November 2020, students from the Work Education program at Wodonga TAFE are providing hands-on assistance to a new Christmas Gift Hamper pop-up shop in Stanley Street, Wodonga. 
The students from Certificates I and II in Work Education are looking forward to volunteering their customer service skills to support the pop-up Christmas Gift Hamper shop, which was set up by Wodonga TAFE’s Event Coordinator and team as a mini retail hub. The Wodonga TAFE students are gaining valuable work experience in the pop-up shop as they practise greeting customers, taking orders, and making up the gift hampers that will feature a range of products sourced from small businesses in Wodonga and the surrounding region. 
Business Wodonga have already put the call out to local retailers for product suitable to put in the hampers, as well as asking businesses to place orders for the purchase of gift hampers for employees, friends, and business networks. More information is available from the Business Wodonga website, https://businesswodonga.com.au/wodonga-hampers/  
The Work Education students recently presented a series of successful pop-up retail stores on Wodonga TAFE’s main campus, where they were each responsible for individual stalls featuring goods from local businesses. The students sold over $4000 worth of products, which included gourmet food products by Louisa Morris Cakes, candles by Purely Celeste, jewellery by Chanel, plants from the Wodonga TAFE Horticulture Nursery, and craft items created by the TAFE students themselves. Students and staff on campus were excited to have the early Christmas shopping opportunity available on campus, while also supporting the students in the Work Education program to consolidate their retail skills. 
Director of the Educational and Vocational Skills Department at Wodonga TAFE, Ms Janelle Cretney, said being able to support local businesses was always important, but more so now than ever with the recent challenges of the bushfires and then the restrictions of COVID-19. “It's exciting to be able to provide support as local businesses get back on track!”
“Throughout this challenging year, Wodonga TAFE has continued to support our local retailers”, said Janelle. “This includes our free Retail Connection pilot program which has provided many opportunities for retailers to connect with each other, to share ideas about how to navigate the new COVID environment, to learn new skills, and to receive mentoring from industry experts.”
There are also free short courses in Infection Control Training for local retailers available through Wodonga TAFE. “This online training will help staff identify and manage the ongoing risk of COVID-19 infections as business gets back to normal”, said Janelle. 


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