Retail employment boom

businessmen, business, workRetail employment is projected to have the third largest growth of all industries in Australia over the next five years to November 2018, at just under eight per cent, according to figures released by Service Skills Australia.

Retail is the largest private employer in Australia, employing 1.24 million people or 10.7 per cent of the total workforce.

Service Skills today released the 2015 Wholesale, Retail, and Personal Services Environmental Scan, saying Australia’s retail industry needs to embrace new technology and meet the expectations of today’s demanding and savvy shopper to continue to prosper.

The scan identifies the factors currently impacting on the make up of the workforce and skills needs of these sectors and considers how well the national training system, and industry itself are responding to them.

Yasmin King, CEO of Service Skills Australia, said consumers expect more convenience and personalised experience.

“They are more informed than ever and they also want a good price and can buy from anywhere in the world,” she said.

To meet the challenges ahead, the industry needs to attract the best people possible. To do this it needs to raise awareness about the range of exciting and fulfilling careers it has on offer.

“Areas of particular jobs growth will be in highly skilled roles such as merchandise buyers and planners, category managers, and retail managers. To fill these roles, the industry needs to continue to create career paths to allow talent to rise through the ranks,” King said.

Emerging technologies include mobile point of sale devices and location-based technology that sends personalised product information and deals to customers’ smartphones.

“Consumers have the world in their pockets and handbags, so employees need skills to meet the demands of the customer, whether they are interacting through social media, meeting the customer face to face or operating technology behind the scenes.”

An over arching service industries’ Environmental Scan was produced with the assistance of the Australian Government through the Department of Education and Training. Service Skills Australia also developed individual Environmental Scans for sector groups.

To download the Environmental Scans and industry snapshots visit

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