TAFE NSW graduate Alia Ghazal is living the dream, after scoring a job at retail giant MYER straight after completing her Certificate III in Retail as the retail industry bounces back from the COVID-19 lockdown.
She’s entering the retail industry, which generates around $72 billion per year in Australia, contributing around 5.1 per cent to Australia’s Gross Domestic Product. A report on the industry post COVID-19 reveals the retail sector faces a permanent shift in consumerism with more value now put on reconnecting with the physical retail experience. 
Alia came to Blacktown from Syria and enrolled in the retail course at TAFE NSW Blacktown. She was impressed by the practical skills and experience that she received, plus the industry knowledge and currency of her teachers.
“Since starting the TAFE NSW course I have gained confidence and flourished in the real-world learning environment, even as I worked on my English language skills,”Alia said.
“I loved having the chance to train in the TAFE NSW shop, a purpose-built, simulated retail shop used to facilitate training for retail and visual merchandising students. I also had the chance to participate in work placement at MYER and progress my skills in one of the largest retail chains in the country.”
The MYER team at Blacktown were so impressed by Alia’s talent they decided to formally employ her and she has since been awarded staff member of the week at the Blacktown department store.
“AIia is an asset to the team at MYER and has now taken full ownership of the footwear department. She has absorbed feedback from leadership and many customers have complimented her on how valuable she makes them feel,” MYER Blacktown Store Manager, Myra Aliba, said.
TAFE NSW Teacher in Retail, Melissa Buhagiar, said the work placement students complete was a great opportunity to learn hands-on skills in the industry.
“Collaborations such as the one TAFE NSW has with MYER provides our students with industry knowledge and connections as well as equipping them with job-ready skills and more opportunities to be employed,
“The students were mentored by a MYER staff member during their time in-store working on tasks ranging from fashion and homewares merchandising and displays and undertaking the varied tasks required to work as an in-store visual merchandiser in a major department store,” Ms Buhagiar said.
To enrol in a retail course on offer at TAFE NSW in Semester 2, visit www.tafensw.edu.au/courses/sales-and-retail-courses or call 131 601.
Media contact: Jessica Cortis, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner, 0456 170 211.