August 1st, 2017

Careers in Fashion and Retail, are set to soar in the coming years, with the Australian Government, Job Outlook stating that, employment in the fashion, industrial and textiles industry occupations have risen strongly (in percentage terms) in the past five years and looking forward, employment for fashion, industrial and jewellery designers to November 2020 is expected to grow strongly. The retail sector is another growing industry with Job Outlook noting that over the five years to November 2019, the number of job openings for retail managers is expected to be high (greater than 50,000). These statistics give food for thought, for many Australians, when determining career choices. These two career pathways among many others will be in focus in the lead up to National Skills Week, Australia’s primary week to promote vocational education and training (VET).

“Careers in both the retail and fashion sector, are often not considered ‘long term’ career pathways, with many people thinking that these industry sectors are more for students or casual workers, such as those working while studying. This concept is inaccurate, as both these industry sectors can lead to very fulfilling and profitable long term careers. It is time we changed the mindset, and started valuing our fashion and retail workers once again,” says Kirstin Casey, General Manager at SkillsOne.

Christopher Avery 2014 Australian Training Awards Vocational Student of the Year Award finalist, completed an Advanced Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Technology at the Melbourne School of Fashion, after travelling overseas and developing a love for cultural and traditional dress.

Christopher’s designs and collections were showcased nationally and internationally and he was awarded the prestigious nomination to be selected as the school’s ambassador for Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. Spring fashion week, held in Australia in September, is a celebration of great achievement for those in the fashion industry.

Christopher’s unique design focus, shines through with his aspiration to challenge the boundaries of men’s clothing and experiment with dress that is outside the norm. He is of the belief that men should dress to their personality rather than to fit social conforms.

“If I can make someone feel true about who they are through the dress that I make, then my job as a designer is complete,” said Christopher.

Christopher has worked on collaborative projects to produce custom designed knitwear and jewellery, as well as with professionals from across the fashion industry.

In the retail space, Josiah Clayton, national VET Alumni member and 2016 Australian Training Awards Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year Award runner up, was inspired by his first manager in his after-school job to consider a career in the retail industry.

Josiah accepted his employer’s (Mount Barker IGA), offer to undertake training and has since completed his “I enjoyed being able to earn a bit of money, while learning at the same time,” says Josiah.

Josiah believes that the key to choosing the industry for you is to, “find what makes your heart sing”.

For further information on Christopher or Josiah’s story, or other inspiring career stories from the Australian Training Awards, VET Alumni Program or the Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors program, visit the Australian Training Awards website.

SkillsOne will be showcasing VET qualifications during National Skills Week from 28 August to 3 September 2017. National Skills Week is Australia’s primary week to acknowledge vocational achievements and celebrate the endless opportunities available through VET.

To organise an event, or take part in the many events that can be found across the country, visit the National Skills Week website.

For more information please contact: Kirstin Casey (General Manager at SkillsOne) Mobile: 0420 652 558 Email:

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