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TALKING SHOP: Corey credits TAFE NSW for turbocharging his career

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TALKING SHOP: Corey credits TAFE NSW for turbocharging his career

OPPORTUNITY SHOP: TAFE NSW retail graduate Corey Martin said TAFE NSW and merchandising giant Kmart had created a career path for him.

16 December 2020

A Nowra man scaling the rungs of the Kmart corporate ladder has credited TAFE NSW with helping him turbocharge his career.

Corey Martin, 34, graduated with a Certificate III in Retail at TAFE NSW shortly before being accepted into Kmart’s Line Manager in Training Program.

He has since been promoted to a host of roles at the merchandising giant, including two stints as a store manager, and has recently progressed to become Operations Store Support manager for Australia and New Zealand.

He said while Kmart’s strong culture of promoting from within had helped his career progression, it was his formative years at TAFE NSW that laid the foundation for his success.

“I was straight out of school when I attended TAFE NSW and it gave me a real overview of what the retail industry looked like,” Mr Martin said.

“My teacher had real-life experience running a business and she still checks in on me to this day.”

Mr Martin said he was living proof that a career in retail could be a rewarding one.

“I’ve been exposed to every component of the Kmart business and there are so many opportunities for variety,” he said.

“Management is so supportive and everyone urges you on to succeed.

“You build great friendships in retail and I’m very passionate about the people I work with and the customers.”

The retail industry accounts for about 10 per cent of Australia’s workforce and total retail turnover reached $330 billion in 2019, up around $9 billion from the previous year.

TAFE NSW Teacher of Retail Tanya Scrivener said the art and science of retail were often underappreciated.

“Retail isn’t just about great customer service,” Ms Scrivener said.

“There’s merchandising, display, stock control, social media and a whole lot of other components.

“It’s wonderful to see TAFE NSW graduates like Corey use their real practical skills and experience to forge such successful careers in retail.”

Ms Scrivener said the Certificate III in Retail was best suited to team members currently in retail or those interested in starting their own small business. The Certificate IV in Retail was targeted at team leaders and those moving into supervisory roles, she said.

To find out more about studying retail at TAFE NSW, phone 13 16 01 or visit

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