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RETAIL REVOLUTION: TAFE NSW course to give local business a timely boost

TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga

RETAIL REVOLUTION: TAFE NSW course to give local business a timely boost

CUSTOMER FIRST: TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Retail Rae Spackman says a new Certificate III in Retail Trade at TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga should have a positive flow-on effect for customer service levels in the city.

28 January, 2020

Students will open their own “op shop” to the public and learn the finer points of the retail trade as part of a unique course coming to TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga next month.

The Certificate III in Retail Trade is aimed at those looking to gain employment in the retail sector or those considering opening a small retail business.

According to Wagga Wagga City Council, 10.8 per cent of Wagga’s workforce was employed in retail business in 2018/19, higher than the state average. During the same period, the retail sector was worth $347 million to the local economy.

TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Retail Rae Spackman said the course would provide practical, hands-on skills for students to give them a springboard to a successful career.

“We really want to give students the opportunity to think outside the square and build a point of difference for a successful business,” Ms Spackman said.

“This is as much about arming prospective business owners with the skills to open their own retail store as it is about supporting current businesses to upskill their staff.”

Students will open and operate an “op shop” at the TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga campus called Upcycle Your Look, with branding, marketing, operating hours, pricing, customer service and offering a point of difference all in the hands of the class.

To ensure the store is not competing with existing “op shops” such as Vinnies, all profits will be distributed to a charity chosen by students. Stock for the store will be donated by TAFE NSW staff members.

The course runs for 18 weeks with students attending classes for 16 hours per week.

Wagga-based BEC Advice Business Advisor David Yeates, who has four decades of retail experience, said the course was an important plank in professionalising the local retail industry.

“Despite the growth in online sales, many local businesses have lost the art of customer service,” Mr Yeates said.

“When a customer walks in the door, you need to make it an experience and make them feel comfortable; you need to build a community within that store.

“This course will provide the skills that aren’t really being offered in Wagga at the moment and I’m very supportive of what TAFE NSW is doing.”

To find out more about studying Certificate III in Retail at TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga, starting 3 February, phone 13 16 01 or visit

Media contact: Daniel Johns, TAFE NSW Media and Communications – Business Partner, 6938 1441, mobile 0477 722 428.