This South African mega-retailer has its own private college – here’s how many students it has

The Shoprite Group says it continues to upskill thousands of people every year, as part of an initiative to help reduce the South Africa’s unemployment rate, which has reached 55.2% among the youth.

Shoprite offers retail training through Retail Varsity, its registered private further education and training college, to ensure that employed and unemployed learners receive industry-recognised qualifications.

The group claims to be the largest private sector employer in South Africa, with a workforce that exceeding 147,000 people across the 15 countries.

It provides multiple training programmes aimed at upskilling employees to enhance their careers, and for unemployed young people to gain skills to get jobs or start their own businesses.

Through its Retail Readiness programme, Shoprite said it has trained over 12,850 unemployed youth in the past three years to enter the retail sector or start their own business. On completion of the 8-week training programme, participants receive an NQF-level 3 qualification.

It noted that its assistant chef training, launched in partnership with the International Hotel School, is is a four-month NQF 2 qualification training course which has been completed by almost 500 employees.

It also offers bakery training in the form of a six-week course including commercial baking techniques, which upskills 40 staff members each year.

The group also offers a host of graduate programmes, which include opportunities for B.Pharm, Retail Management and B.Compt/B.Acc graduates.

Shoprite said that 102 accounting graduates have successfully completed their accounting articles with the group to date.

In 2018, Retail Varsity:

  • Offered more than 1,500 retail-related courses and provided 22 training courses accredited with various Sector Education Training Authorities;

  • Undertook a total of 3,458,139 training hours, 1.7 times more than in 2017;

  • Supported 7,833 learners on accredited learning programmes;

  • Trained 4,040 unemployed black youth to enter the retail work environment through the Shoprite Group’s Retail Readiness programme and employed 57% of these programme graduates;

  • Completed the roll-out of 2,703 e-learning kiosks and devices to all stores, including in non-South African operations;

  • Awarded more than R16 million in bursaries to 291 students in the fields of pharmacy, accounting, retail business management, hospitality management, information technology, logistics and food science;

  • Spent more than 81,000 man-days on training 21,933 employees on the new SAP ERP system between October 2017 and early 2019.

Read: Shoprite is still accepting bursary applications for the 2019 academic year

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This South African mega-retailer has its own private college – here’s how many students it has