New qualification in retail to support customers to transition to open employment

In June 2021, Activ’s registered training organisation, Activ Pathways, introduced a qualification in retail, with the aim of supporting our customers to build the necessary skills to transition to a retail role in open employment.

The 20-week course, which is delivered one day per week, covers communication in the workplace, engaging with customers, advising on products, point of sale procedures, planning a career in the retail industry, and health and safety standards.

Program Coordinator Mari Concanen said the course also provides the opportunity for participants to apply their practical skills through a work placement.

“This course gives our customers the opportunity to progress, if they would like to, to open employment,” said Mari.

“A great feature of this course is that it offers participants the opportunity to be exposed to real life scenarios through work placements, where they are able to apply their practical skills and try out working in a retail environment.

“So far we’ve been able to secure partnerships with Coles, Spudshed and Woolworths, and we are hoping to secure more as the popularity of the course grows.”

Trainer Malcolm Swinton said the course also introduces participants to skills that are useful in many workplace situations.

“The course teaches interpersonal skills and strategies that are useful when dealing with customers and working within a team environment. These skills can be applied in many work situations.”

To date, 24 customers have started the course. Daniel, who is a supported employee at Activ Employment Services Bentley, is one of them.

Daniel has worked at Bentley for three years and undertakes a range of roles, including working in the canteen and labelling. He said the retail course has provided him with the opportunity to increase his skills in different areas, and to experience working at Coles.

“Taking part in this course has given me the opportunity to grow and improve my skills in areas like speaking to people and being more assertive, as well as lots of other things,” said Daniel.

“When I was given the opportunity to do my work placement at Coles I jumped at the opportunity. I’m really loving it and get to do all sorts of different jobs, like crushing boxes using a big machine, and organising and restocking the shelves.

“I also get to interact with the public, and the team at Coles are really awesome. They’re nice people, easy to get along with and very helpful when I have questions.”

Daniel would like to work in a library one day.

“I love books so for me, the library would be a great place to work. I think I would be able to use many of the skills I’m learning from the course in a role at the library. For example, neatly stacking shelves to create an awesome experience for visitors and helping people out.”

Activ Pathways offers training which aims to provide pathways to open employment for customers, including qualifications in cleaning, leadership and workskills, as well as programs which are aimed at improving literacy, to assist customers’ independence journeys.

Get in touch with our friendly team today, to see how we can support you on your journey to greater independence at work.