Shoprite Group opens pathways to job opportunities for unemployed youth

Sanelisiwe Nyandeni is pursuing a diploma in Retail Business Management with a Shoprite bursary after completing RRP and YES. Image: Supplied

Sanelisiwe Nyandeni is pursuing a diploma in Retail Business Management with a Shoprite bursary after completing RRP and YES. Image: Supplied

Published Jun 15, 2024


THIS Youth Month, the Shoprite Group is calling on unemployed and unskilled South Africans, aged 18 to 34, to apply for specialist training and education programmes to increase their employability in the retail sector.

A staggering 45.5% of South African youth grapple with the reality of unemployment, and as the largest private employer in the country, the group is committed to uplifting lives through programmes that cultivate job creation, specifically among young people.

Its Retail Readiness Programme (RRP) and YES (Youth Employment Services) Initiative require no prior work experience and offer skills training that can help unlock a world of opportunities within the group and the broader retail industry. Nearly R600 million has been invested in the RRP, which has trained 38 948 youth since its inception in 2016.

The group has also trained and created work opportunities for over 11 000 YES participants since the initiative was launched in 2018.

“The jobs created through YES and RRP make a big impact on the lives of young people and their families. Our goal is to help youth gain critical skills so they can access career opportunities,” said Leigh Adams, head of Talent and Learning Solutions at the group.

Begin with the Retail Readiness Programme (RRP)

The group’s RRP is one of the most successful skills development initiatives by a South African retailer and includes practical in-store training and theory.

Participants receive NQF level 3 qualifications on successful completion. In the last financial year, 4 065 learners were trained and 1 293 were offered jobs within the group.

Sanelisiwe Nyandeni, 26, from Qoboqobo village in the Eastern Cape, is a former RRP and YES participant, now pursuing a diploma in Retail Business Management at Cape Peninsula University, supported by a Shoprite bursary.

“I was fortunate to work with managers who encouraged me to study further. RRP and YES taught me the important role of retailers and how much work goes on behind the scenes,” Nyandeni said.

“I'm the first person in my family to study at a university. I may have taken a different route to reach my goal, but I’m almost there, and it’s all thanks to Shoprite,” she said.

Level up with Youth Employment Services (YES) training

YES is a business-driven initiative that works with government and labour to build economic pathways for the youth. Students who obtain an RRP qualification can progress to YES, which is a 12-month-long training programme.

In the 2023 financial year, the group invested over R91 million, and trained and hired over 2 000 participants.

In 2022, after obtaining a BA degree from North-West University, Dewald Elrick Boer, 24, took a chance and pivoted towards a new career path by completing the group’s RPP and YES training programmes.

He was hired as a store assistant and five months later took up his current position as trainee manager at Shoprite Centre Forum in Pretoria.

“Currently, I’m the only person working in my family, so this opportunity changed my life. The training that Shoprite is giving me is important for my short-term goals and will be useful in the long term as well. I could open my own retail business one day,” Dewald said.

Who can apply:

South Africans aged between 18 and 34 who hold a Grade 12 or equivalent qualification can apply online, by sending a WhatsApp to 087 240 5709, or submitting a CV at their nearest Shoprite, Checkers or Usave supermarkets.