July 16, 2024

Shoprite Group opens pathways to job opportunities for unemployed youth

3 min read

DPM

This Youth Month, the Shoprite Group is calling on unemployed and unskilled South Africans, aged 18 to 34, to apply for specialist training and education programmes to increase their employability in the retail sector.

A staggering 45.5% of South African youth grapple with the reality of unemployment, and as the largest private employer in the country, the Shoprite Group is committed to uplifting lives through programmes that cultivate job creation, specifically among young people.

Its Retail Readiness Programme (RRP) and YES (Youth Employment Services) Initiative require no prior work experience and offer skills training that can help unlock a world of opportunities within the group and the broader retail industry. Nearly R600 million has been invested in the RRP, which has trained 38 948 youth since its inception in 2016. The group has also trained and created work opportunities for more than 11 000 YES participants since the initiative launched in 2018.

“The jobs created through YES and RRP make a big impact on the lives of young people and their families. Our goal is to help youth gain critical skills so they can access career opportunities,” says Leigh Adams, head of Talent and Learning Solutions at the Shoprite Group.

Begin with the Retail Readiness Programme

The group’s RRP is one of the most successful skills development initiatives by a South African retailer and includes practical in-store training and theory. Participants receive NQF level 3 qualifications on successful completion, and in the last financial year, 4 065 learners were trained and 1 293 were offered jobs within the group.

Sanelisiwe Nyandeni (26), from Qoboqobo vVillage in the Eastern Cape, is a former RRP and YES participant, now pursuing a diploma in Retail Business Management at Cape Peninsula University, supported by a Shoprite bursary.

“I was fortunate to work with managers who encouraged me to study further,” she says. “RRP and YES taught me the important role of retailers and how much work goes on behind the scenes. I am the first person in my family to study at a university. I might have taken a different route to reach my goal, but I’m almost there, and it’s all thanks to Shoprite.”

Level up with Youth Employment Services training

YES is a business-driven initiative that works with the government and labour to build economic pathways for the youth. Students who obtain an RRP qualification can progress to YES, which is a 12-month-long training programme. In the 2023 financial year, the Shoprite Group invested over R91 million, trained and hired more than 2 000 participants.

In 2022, after obtaining a BA degree from North-West University, Dewald Elrick Boer (24) took a chance and pivoted toward a new career path by completing the group’s RPP and YES training programmes. He was hired as a store assistant, and five months later took up his current position as trainee manager at Shoprite Centre Forum in Pretoria.

“Currently, I’m the only person working in my family, so this opportunity changed my life. The training that Shoprite is giving me is important for my short-term goals and will be useful in the long term as well. I could open my own retail business one day.”

South Africans, aged between 18 and 34 years, who hold a Grade 12 or equivalent qualification can apply online, send a WhatsApp to 087 240 5709 and select Job Opportunities, or submit a CV at their nearest Shoprite, Checkers or Usave supermarkets.

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