A Woonona High School teacher has won a working trip to New York, Paris and London to learn about the latest trends and innovations in retail.
Holly Cohen is one of 13 NSW teachers to be awarded a scholarship between $10,000 and $15,000 to take a study tour.
Ms Cohen will travel independently for a month, starting in New York for the National Retail Federation's Retail's Big Show conference in January 2024.
"I'll be looking at the relationship between technologies in large companies such as H&M, Zara and also large shopping centres and how that can prepare our students for work after school," Ms Cohen said.
Ms Cohen will also travel to North Carolina and California to see how they run university courses about retail management, followed by a visit to Paris, London and Sydney.
She hopes to change the perception among students that retail is a temporary job.
"[Students] can be involved with global companies," Ms Cohen said.
"It's not a simple casual end or part-time job; it is a career option with a lot of success.
"I'm just really looking at upskilling those students the best way possible to prepare them for the industry."
Ms Cohen teaches the retail services course at Woonona High School, as well as history, geography, and business studies.
She was awarded the Premier's Vocational Education Scholarship to study VET and industry connections in retail - models, trends and innovations.
NSW Department of Education Secretary, Murat Dizdar said he is deeply proud of the scholarship winners who are committed to their students to thrive in public schools.
"These scholarships are a great opportunity for our outstanding educators to continue to develop their skills and achieve the best learning outcomes for our students," Mr Dizdar said.
During the tour, Ms Cohen will learn about the innovative technologies being used in the capital cities.
"A lot of international companies are already using virtual reality mirrors, automated systems for ordering, facial recognition, and also using robotics in customer service as well, and AI on their digital platforms," she said.
With retail changing constantly, Ms Cohen said this information can potentially help support any new curriculum for retail services.
As a subject matter expert on the statewide staff room for retail services, she is looking to invite retail teachers from other schools for a professional learning day upon her return.
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