Sep 21, 2005


With skills development being one of Government’s key areas in its economic plan of action for increasing South Africa’s average growth from 3.5% to 4.5-5.0% over the next five years, the Shoprite Group is making constant headway in combating skills shortages as the largest contributor to the skills levy within the retail/wholesale sector. 

On Wednesday, 21 September 2005, the group will graduate another 33 learnership learners from the Western Cape. Of these learners who will receive their nationally recognised qualifications during the ceremony, taking place at the President Hotel in Cape Town. 

The Western Cape MEC for Education, Mr. Cameron Dugmore and senior executives of the W&RSETA will be guests of honour at the graduation ceremony.

To date, the Shoprite Retail Management Learnership programme has given more than 200 learners an opportunity to improve their business skills by being trained in retail and wholesale operations management during the year-long theoretical and workplace experiential programme. 

The Shoprite group have some 400 learning programmes and average about 40,000 training interventions a year, ranging from management development through to basic shop floor skills, as well as training people on sophisticated systems and technologies, important for a world class retailer. 

The wholesale & retail sector, the fourth largest contributor to the national gross domestic product (GDP), currently employs over 1.1 million people. As one of the leading Setas, W&RSETA is responsible for implementing the National Skills Development Strategy and to date some 6000 learners are participating. 

Learnerships, entrenched as a major element of Shoprite’s employee development strategy, present career fast-tracking opportunities for employees who have not had the opportunity to gain a tertiary education. This is achieved by compressing many of the training programmes normally presented over a two- to three-year period into a one-year Learnership by using training providers such as universities of technologies, technikons and colleges, with ample resources and structured curricula. 

Shoprite Human Resources Director, Callie Burger, comments: “The Shoprite group fully supports the government’s efforts to improve the skills base of the country and grow the economy by investing in skills development as an investment for the future. 

“We offer quality learning and qualifications employees can use to further their careers. The group is happy to report that the W&RSETA upgraded our accreditation as a learning provider after an audit. We received commendation for the high standards of training delivery, the quality of our learning programmes, assessment strategy and learner support.” 

More than 62% of Shoprite’s employees have service records of over 10 years and staff turnover is stable, indicating high levels of job satisfaction and the ability to supply a variety of career opportunities. 

Burger adds: “The value of our people is critical to our business success. Given our rapid expansion into Africa and India we, as a global retail group, need to have knowledgeable, top level staff that can compete in any country in which we operate. The Shoprite Retail Management Learnership is one very effective way in which we are nurturing such individuals.” 

Besides the specific retail learnership qualifications, the Shoprite group also offers learnerships in baking, and in the field of accounting, and is investigating innovative ways in which to provide further learning opportunities for learnership graduates. 

The bulk of course material is developed internally to ensure relevance while complying with international standards, and courses range from basic skills to senior management development courses. 

The Group operates 789 corporate stores in South Africa under the Shoprite, Checkers, Freshmark, OK Furniture, Checkers Hyper, House and Home, U-Save and Hungry Lion brands with their subsidiaries, offering many promising career prospects. 

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