Jan 26, 2015


Africa’s largest retailer is tackling the skills shortage in South Africa head-on.

Government’s mandate for the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector to increase the number of students by four million by 2030 requires innovative thinking as well as the support of the private sector.

As one of the largest contributors to skills development in South Africa – not only in terms of money spent, but also in terms of its dedication to and passion for the development and upliftment of its entire workforce as well as unemployed young people in the country - the Shoprite Group does exactly that.

Apart from various education and training projects it now created an integrated solution for skills development in cooperation with the Northlink TVET College in the Western Cape by establishing the first Shoprite simulation store at the college’s Parow campus.

The college offers vocational and occupational training and the simulation store will assist with the work-integrated learning component of these curricula that have a retail focus or specialisation. The simulation store is a mini Shoprite supermarket with service departments and stocked with merchandise, in a learning-friendly environment.  It will provide learners with the necessary exposure and practical experience in retail operations to complete their vocational retail training.

A further benefit for learners is that the work-based experience enhances their employability, but the experience gained is also to the advantage of the whole retail sector as it broadens the pool of employees who has an aptitude and passion for retail.

The simulation enterprise is fully sponsored by Shoprite and the Group’s first Public/Private Partnership with a TVET institution. The work-based training opportunities it presents are in support of the TVET sector’s plan to offer vocational and occupational qualifications from level 2 to 4 (matric equivalent) with a retail specialisation. The retail industry anticipates that a retail vocational programme will commence in 2016.

Initially the Group will focus on the establishment of simulation stores at Western Cape TVET institutions, with the long term vision to roll it out nationally.
According to Statistics South Africa latest labour force data the unemployment rate in the 15 to 24 years age group is 65,4%. This is considerably higher than the general unemployment rate of 25,4%.*

The Shoprite Group focuses strongly on vocational and occupational training to create opportunities for young people to obtain a qualification and acquire the necessary skills for employment. The unemployment rate and education are inversely related. People with tertiary education are more likely to be employed than those with lower levels of education. The Group therefore believes that the education of our youth is of utmost importance for the social upliftment, economic growth and the prosperity of future generations.

Pictured with some Shoprite cashiers at the opening of the first Shoprite simulation store were Shoprite Checkers Marketing Director, Neil Schreuder (left), Western Cape MEC of Education, Debbie Schafer (seated) and Northlink College CEO, Leon Beech.

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