6 October 2023

South Africa’s largest private sector employer, the Shoprite Group, has been honoured for its outstanding contribution to the ‘Social’ component of ESG at the Youth Employment Service (YES)’s inaugural Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) Awards this week.

The YES programme is a business-driven initiative in partnership with government and labour to build economic pathways for black youth to reduce unemployment.

Since inception of the partnership in November 2018, the Group has created 9 454 youth opportunities through the YES programme.

A group of students in red Shoprite t-shirts taking a lesson from one of the company employees. Participants in the YES programme receive 12 months training with exposure to various facets of the retail industry.

Participants receive 12 months on-the-job training with exposure to various facets of the retail industry. On completion of the programme, successful YES learners are skilled to work in retail or to initiate their own entrepreneurial journeys.   

“With youth unemployment at a staggering 63.9%, the Group’s talent attraction and development strategy places a strong focus on offering early careers to youth interested in pursuing a career in retail.” 

- Leigh Adams, Head: Group Talent & Learning Solutions

Three gentlemen taking a photo with one holding a framed certificate. Lungile Koti (middle) receiving the award from Ravi Naidoo (YES4Youth CEO) and Colin Coleman (Goldman Sachs CEO & Yes4Youth Co-chair).

The Group’s own Retail Readiness Programme is understood to be the largest and most successful skills development initiative undertaken by a South African retailer. The seven-week programme equips unemployed youth with the basic skills required to work in a retail environment or to start their own business. Successful participants receive NQF-level 3 qualifications.


Over the past three years, the Group has invested more than R384.5 million into skills development and training of 18 513 unemployed youth.

For a career that matters, apply for one of the Group’s youth development programmes: