Boosting retail industry through apprenticeship

Apprentices have long suffered from low pay and low self esteem. So says Phil Vale, director of third generation Vale Display Systems of Smeaton Grange in suburban Sydney and a prime mover in the establishment of the Australian Apprentice Advantage Group.

AAAG Inc is a not for profit entity which re-invests the small joining fee back into scholarships, awards and inter-trade experience opportunities.

Vale reports that he and many of his family and staff have completed apprenticeships and he knows well of the “struggle the apprentice has in their first few years to make ends meet, socially and economically.”

He says,“There are many apprentices employed in the sports and outdoor industries and both they and the many retailers benefit from the rapidly growing TradePlus apprentice card. The card is available for apprentices and trainees only, giving them discounts on many types of goods and services, locally and nationally.

Says Vale, “An amazing variety of businesses are supporting the TradePlus card because it brings them new buyers who can be built into loyal customers with purchasing power which increases year by year.” Sports and outdoor retailers already involved include the FrontLine group and Outdoors First.

Business can register to be involved in the card, available to more than 400,000 apprentices nationally, by visiting

Vale says response to the card, launched in May after two years of research, has been amazing. “There is a serious shortage of trade-based skills in Australia and this card will help to build numbers while boosting retail too.” sl
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