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Message from the CEO: 11 July 2017

July 11, 2017

We’ve been pleased to see further industry commitment this week, to helping young people get a leg up into retail jobs (and giving retailers benefits along the way, through the Federal Government’s Youth Jobs PaTH (prepare-trial-hire) program.

As a leading Registered Training Organisation (RTO), we’ve been delighted to be able to add such a strong initiative to our training offerings over the past three months since its official start date, after many months of preparation since its rollout in 2016.

As the largest employer of young people in the country, the retail industry cannot underestimate the value of such programs for incentivising employers to do their bit as well, and join forces with RTOs like the NRA, to work together to teach young people the tools of the trade, and give them the opportunity to gain a leg up into the industry.

We know that retail is a challenging environment, with high wages leading the charge, it can be risky hiring new staff who perhaps have no industry experience. You don’t have time to teach them, and you can’t afford to allocate your staff to training them either.

Young people desperately need experience to get a job, but employers can’t afford to hire staff who have experience, so it becomes a catch-22!

The Youth Jobs PaTH program helps RTOs like us give retail training to unemployed young people, and then work with retailers to help find them internships with employers.

Employers taking on an intern on for up to 12 weeks are eligible for a government subsidy – allowing them to test out their intern’s current skill set, give them valuable on-the-job experience, and see if they’re the right fit for the job.

If the employer then goes ahead and hires the intern on completion, the business is eligible for a $10,000 wage subsidy.

We are proud to have connected retailers of all sizes over the years with students who’ve completed certified training through the NRA’ programs, and we’re excited to be incorporating these subsidies for employers through the Federal Government’s Youth Jobs PaTH program, to help grow their businesses and support the national economy.

We’re also looking forward to deepening our regional network of employers in communities struggling with soaring youth unemployment, and who may be keen to give this program a go. 

If you’d like further information on how you can work with us on skilling young people for work in the retail sector, please get in contact with Yvonne Williams in our head office via y.williams@nra.net.au or call 1800 RETAIL.

On another note, the union challenge against the Fair Work Commission’s decision to reduce penalty rates will be fast-tracked for hearing by a full bench of three to five judges of the Federal Court, most likely in September or October, after Federal Court judge Mordy Bromberg agreed during the first hearing of the appeal this week, that the case needed to be expedited.

We will continue, alongside other industry groups, in our fight to protect the decision of the Fair Work Commission, and will keep you posted on the case progression.

Have a great week.

Dominique Lamb


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