Regional Retailer Promotes School-based Traineeship to Stop Skills Shortage


Posted on 28/08/17 in

Local businesses, regardless of industry, should consider taking on school-based trainees as a risk-averse way of building local talent and stopping the skills shortage that’s plaguing the state.

This would allow industries to tailor skills needs according to industry-type while helping to reduce the climbing youth unemployment rates; which has now reached 56.2% in certain areas of Queensland.

If it was up to Rachel Bettany, Queensland State Manager for fashion retailer Rockmans, she “Would have had two school-based trainees in every store in the state two years ago and—when [she] gets the green light—that’s exactly what [she’ll] do.”

Rockmans have been employing school-based trainees for many years and plan to employ more across their eighty Queensland stores in the near future. “They are just fabulous” says Rachel.
For the team at Rockmans, encouraging traineeships is a proactive way of building skills and a larger talent pool; helping remedy the shortage of middle level management that is characteristic in the industry—particularly outside of metropolitan areas.

“We are regional so we often find that people don’t have the experience or skills to put their hand up for management positions,” says Rachel. “However, school-based traineeships help set up a future career in retail—something they may not of considered before,” says Rachel.

Rachel points out that often managers within the industry are not aware of the level of service Apprenticeship Support Australia provide “they help with the paperwork and answer any questions—they are just excellent.”

Apprenticeship Support Australia, Queensland Manager, Margie Bradbury says “Rachel reflects the growing need for awareness of support programs when it comes to traineeships and apprenticeships. Traineeships are a proven way to help reduce the skills shortage—they allow people to train staff to the specific requirements of their business and industry.”

Charlee Barns is a Rockmans school-based trainee in their Mareeba store, “My Certificate III in Retail is teaching me a lot of things—like high quality customer service.”

The National Retail Association found that the vast majority of retailers across Queensland needed assistance with the development of customer services skills to improve employee capability and drive business productivity. They also found there is a growing need for vocational education within the sector.

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