The Shoprite Group continues to invest in creating jobs and providing thousands of young people with retail skills into 2022.
It is hoping to be able to accelerate this drive as it sees the green shoots of growth opportunities as South Africa emerges from the pandemic.
The retailer is South Africa’s largest private sector employer with over 140 000 employees, excluding indirect employment. Despite the effects of the lockdown and unrest on retail trade, which affected many of the Group’s businesses, it still managed to create 4 608 new jobs in South Africa in its past financial year.
It continues to create jobs into 2022 – as it has done every year – through its commitment to growth and expansion by adding new stores, creating new businesses and through selected acquisitions.
This includes the recent acquisition, subject to regulatory approval, of the loss-making Cambridge Food, Rhino, Massfresh and selected Masscash Cash & Carry stores from the Massmart Group. More than 6000 jobs are expected to be saved on completion of the deal.
Job creation and skills development drive the Group’s own business and the economy and can transform the lives of many of its employees and job-seeking young people, and the group prides itself on job creation and retention and training.
It spent more than R700 million over the past five years on extensive retail skills and training programmes to enhance the career options of South Africa’s unskilled and unemployed youth.
This included training 24 308 people in the Group’s own Retail Readiness Programme and providing 1 027 bursaries. It trained 5 765 young people over the past three years in the Youth Employment Service (YES) programme, making it the highest impact employment creator in the programme.
Suppliers are helped to ensure their businesses are sustainable and that they have a route to market so that they are also able to create jobs.
There are numerous inhouse and external programmes in place to upskill employees including learnerships, skills programmes, internships, bursaries for tertiary education and partnerships with TVET colleges.
The Group’s commitment to playing its part in alleviating youth unemployment and providing jobs for women is evident in the fact that about 65% of its employees are under the age of 35 and 64% are women.