Ensuring retail students are dressed to impress

The National Retail Association (NRA) has embarked on a ‘recycling’ initiative aimed at helping students in its accredited Ready for Retail Program take a well-heeled step into retail jobs, through its Clothes for a Cause initiative.

NRA Program Manager and Trainer Deb Baker said the first steps toward independence could be daunting, but were made even more difficult for those not in a position to be able to afford work-appropriate clothing.

“Something as simple as a clean business shirt and pair of black pants has empowered my students and given them the confidence boost they needed to secure employment. It’s a fantastic feeling watching our students thrive in and outside of the classroom,” Ms Baker said.

“All donations are set up as pop-up shops in our training rooms where our students come to learn skills such as merchandising, using POS systems, as well as customer interaction skills. So after they’ve learned how to get the job, we help them find the clothes to dress for the job too.

“They are welcome to keep any items they can utilise for potential interviews and employment, because we want to give our students the best possible start we can for their retail career,” she said.

The NRA delivers in-depth retail training and work experience for students of all ages and backgrounds through the Ready for Retail Program, which often becomes the start of a journey to employment and financial freedom for a number of groups, such as those entering the workforce for the first time, or migrants re-training to begin a new life in Australia.

With the addition of Clothing for a Cause, the team will be able to help students get the best possible start to their retail careers.

“We welcome you to donate any work-appropriate clothes, accessories or clothing rails to our Clothes for a Cause initiative, and help us to help our students achieve independence,” she said.

The NRA is calling for donations of the following items:

  • Clothing appropriate for: females and males, 15-30 years of age
  • Hospitality to corporate clothing
  • Clean and ready to wear
  • Accessories such as bags, jewellery, scarfs, gloves and socks
  • Work appropriate shoes
  • Clothing rails


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