Worklink WA put retail training to the fore with new shopfront

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Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
WorklinkWA chief executive Ben Killey with students.
Camera IconWorklinkWA chief executive Ben Killey with students. Credit: Laurie Benson

Worklink WA will open a permanent retail-training shopfront to help students be job-ready and fill Albany’s worker shortage.

Albany businesses have struggled to find staff to fill roles in sales and hospitality since the COVID-19 pandemic reached Australia last year, forcing closures and reduced opening hours.

Today, many are still struggling to get people into positions.

WorklinkWA chief executive Ben Killey said that was part of the reason the organisation had launched a permanent shopfront to give students hands-on experience.

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“WorklinkWA ran a successful pop-up retail shop for Cert 3 retail students in Term 2 this year,” he said.

“This shop has successfully trained local people to run a shop in a real retail environment and the right skills ready for work.

“Students are learning the people skills to serve customers and the technical skills to present stock, market online, operate a cash register, and count a float.

“Two of six students have already been employed before they have completed the course.”

After the success of the pop-up retail shop, Mr Killey said Worklink WA had decided to make a permanent training shopfront and workshop.

“Students and people with disabilities will have a real workspace to train in their nationally accredited qualification and make, market and retail what they do in an authentic shop serving the public,” he said. “It is the place where people can take on real work experience, and it’s the final piece for a lot of people to land in paid open-market employment.

“Unique to how this works is our ability to welcome people joining us from school, provide qualified career counselling, offer top-notch training, join and belong in our teams, work on real projects, and now, put some real experience on their CVs proving what they can do.”

The shop is due to open in October on Nakina Street in Centennial Park.

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