BY THANDISIZWE MGUDLWA
Shoprite, Africa’s largest retailer is well on its way to achieving their goal of empowering more than 12,000 youths (aged 18-29 years) to enter the retail sector or start their own business.
The group aims to do this by the end of June, this year.
In what is arguably the largest skills development initiative ever undertaken by a South African retailer. The Shoprite Group’s Retail Readiness programme was launched in February 2016.
Following the successful completion of an 8-week training programme. Participants receive an NQF-level 3 qualification.
And since the programme’s inception, a total of 8,688 young people have been employed in Shoprite or Checkers stores, the group said.
The current training block will end on 22 June. With the next one is expected to kick off in July 2018 and applications are still open.
Moga Pillay, the Group’s spokesperson on skills development commented, “South Africans with matric can apply for the programme at our recruitment centres in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria,”
“This programme is a direct challenge to the crippling effects of youth unemployment. More than half of young South Africans are unemployed.
“It also enables us to improve on the quality of recruits filling vacancies at our stores, since those who have completed the programme have a good understanding of how our business works and the factors that influence our ability to grow,” Pillay said.
Notably, emphasizes Shoprite is that, “those who are not absorbed into the group’s workforce have the necessary basic skills to start their own business or to be employed elsewhere in the retail sector.”
Also revealed is that participants of the programme are provided with the basic business principles to understand the financial, legal and business requirements of setting up and running a small to medium enterprise in conjunction with a large retailer, Shoprite adds.
Three weeks of theory is followed by five weeks of in-store training in various departments like the deli, bakery, as well as fruit and vegetables. Participants are paid a weekly stipend during their time in the store.
The retailer provided a list of 10 tips for job applicants, when applying for a job or registering an online profile, double-check spelling and grammar on your CV and application; your documents must always be up to date and you must have a valid ID document; always ensure that your contact details are current; when including a profile picture make sure it presents you in the best possible light; in an interview always make eye contact and do not slouch; listen carefully to questions and ask the interviewer to repeat a question you didn’t understand or hear properly; try not to speak badly about your previous company and/or colleagues; dress neatly – a white shirt and black pants is always a good idea; Google the company before going for an interview. This shows you are interested and will help you decide whether you actually want to work there; at the end of the interview, ask what the next step is, if nobody volunteers this information.
Meanwhile, the Shoprite Group has announced ‘Shoprite Money’, a new mobile transactional banking service which is available to everyone, even those without existing bank accounts.
“Using their Shoprite Money mobile wallet, this new service will enable customers to deposit, withdraw or send money as well as buy groceries at any of the till points in all Shoprite, Checkers, Checkers Hyper or Usave stores,” the group said in a statement on Wednesday (23 May).
“Customers can also send money, buy electricity or airtime from the comfort of their own homes, provided they have funds in their Shoprite Money account. All transactions are free with the exception of a R9.95 fee that only applies to cash withdrawals,” it said.
Shoprite said that the service will available to users aged 18 years and older with a valid SA ID document, irrespective of their mobile network, device or connectivity.
The service has been launched in partnership with global fintech company Celbux, Google and Standard Bank.
Users can register for an account free-of-charge by dialling *134*3534# or by visiting the Money Market counter in any Shoprite, Checkers, Checkers Hyper or Usave store.
“Basic transactional banking services in South Africa are expensive and in many cases still not accessible to a large number of South Africans,” said Joseph Bronn, chief business officer at the Shoprite Group.
“We believe Shoprite Money will have a marked impact on economic activity in South Africa.”
The group added that Shoprite Money is set to roll out in multiple countries in Africa over the next 12 to 18 months.
This will hold additional benefits for customers, including seamless and cost effective cross-border remittance, the group promised.