Jun 13, 2016
As we celebrate Youth Month, the Shoprite Group, South Africa’s largest private sector employer, is searching for energetic young people to apply for study bursaries which also offer future job opportunities.
Applications for Shoprite’s Bursary Programme are now open for the 2017 academic year. The Groups bursary scheme supports students who are studying scarce skills programmes such as pharmacy and chartered accounting, as well as programmes in supply chain management and logistics, IT, industrial engineering, hospitality, retail business management and marketing.
Its commitment to youth education has seen it award more than 2 700 annual study bursaries over the past 20 years, to the value of over R110-million. This commitment is in line with its belief that youth education is central to the prosperity of our country and the key to gainful employment.
Applications are now open to first and second year students, as well as to matriculants applying to study one of these programmes at a South African University
The bursaries provide financial study assistance of up to R70 000 a year and are linked to work-back agreements with Shoprite - ensuring employment opportunities for bursary holders once they graduate and giving students everything they need to kick-start a great career. Students and bursary applicants voted Shoprite the number one retail industry employer of choice in 2015, as accredited by the South African Graduate Employers Association, so the bursary programme can make dreams come true!
Callie Burger, Human Resources Director at Shoprite, says education creates economic freedom and enables people to reach their full potential in life. “As an organisation we recognise the enormous value of investing in education and giving young people the opportunity to learn, to obtain a qualification and to acquire the skills needed to gain employment.”
For many who have received bursaries, it has been life-changing. We asked three recipients what Shoprite’s bursary programme has meant to them and what advice they would give to prospective students thinking of applying:
Munic Funani, Sales Manager at Shoprite Khayelitsha CBD, studied retail at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology to start his dream to become an entrepreneur. “While I was studying, I heard that Shoprite was issuing bursaries to retail students. I knew that if I got my foot in the door, this could be a start to making my dreams a reality.
“So, without having parents to fully pay my fees, the Shoprite Group became my parents. This company helped me to finish my studies and then it gave me first-hand experience through its 18-month trainee manager programme.”
“I have made the best out the training I have been offered and I’ve become a sales manager. I love my job and I am truly grateful to Shoprite for the opportunity.”
Funani advises prospective students to take the chance and apply for the bursary programme. “Having the support from Shoprite throughout your studies will open doors for you everywhere you go. Shoprite is recognised everywhere - having its name on your referencing is a big deal!”
Kimberly Soobramoney, Trainee Divisional Financial Manager in Gauteng, is a qualified Chartered Accountant who studied BCom Accounting and then got onto Shoprite’s TOPP (Training Outside Public Practice) programme.
She said the bursary programme eliminated the stress of having to pay university fees. “I did not have to worry about the cost of my books or the cost of travelling to campus daily. This allowed me to solely focus on my studies.” It also eased the stress of job hunting.
“The TOPP programme has allowed me to transform into a confident and out-spoken individual who is ready to take on new challenges and risks. My interactive skills and adaptability have improved tremendously.”
Soobramoney advised people joining the TOPP programme “to make every moment count”.
“The company is filled with a variety of people that have years of experience, knowledge and skills and they are ever ready to share that knowledge with people who are willing to learn. This programme provides the best foundation, not only in finance but also in terms of learning about the business itself.”
Mpilo Sicwebu, a current Shoprite bursary holder studying BCom Accounting at Wits, says that “to believe in yourself is one thing, but to have others believe in you simply intensifies your need and hunger for success. This is what I felt when I was chosen, amongst many, to be a recipient of a bursary from the Shoprite Group.”
It’s no secret that much of our country’s youth don’t get the opportunity to realise their dreams due to financial constraints. This bursary programme has given me access to one of country’s finest tertiary institutions as well as an opportunity to, one day, be a part of one of Africa’s biggest retail chains.”
Students interested in applying can do so here.