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Free customer service TAFE course for retail workers to help Bega recover

Sharon Kelley 14 June 2020
Rae Spackman in TAFE retail classroom.

TAFE NSW head teacher of supply chain Rae Spackman says customer service is a crucial part of Bega’s retail revival. Photo: Supplied.

TAFE NSW Bega has launched a fee-free Certificate 1 in Retail Services course for the local community as the first in a suite of fee-free bushfire recovery courses.

TAFE NSW head teacher of supply chain Rae Spackman said staff who are properly trained in the “personal touch” will be a critical part of Bega’s bushfire and COVID-19 retail revival, and added that customer service is more important than ever.

“It’s so important for employees to sincerely engage with customers,” said Ms Spackman. “It’s a skill that can be taught. It’s not all instinctive.

“There’s a number of awareness campaigns encouraging people to visit bushfire-affected communities and the last thing we want is for tourists to visit businesses and have a bad experience. It won’t leave a positive impression and they’re less likely to return to the area in the future.”

The Certificate I in Retail Services is a five-week course that includes just three days of face-to-face learning, with the remainder completed online. The course, suited to people currently working in the retail sector or considering a career in retail, includes units in communicating in the workplace, working effectively in a service environment, and organising personal work requirements.

The course has strong support from the Bega Valley Shire Business Forum, a group that represents the seven business chambers in the Bega Valley.

“Customer service is a critical element in ensuring our businesses don’t just survive, but thrive,” said Bega Valley Shire Business Forum chairman Robert Hayson.

“We welcome this great initiative from TAFE NSW and urge those in the retail sector to take advantage of it and help safeguard our economy through this difficult period and beyond.”

Further information is available on fee-free bushfire and COVID-19 recovery courses at TAFE NSW, or by phoning
13 16 01.

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