The company states that it's hoping to accelerate this drive as it sees the green shoots of growth opportunities as South Africa emerges from the pandemic.
The retailer has managed to grow job opportunities through 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 6,000 jobs are expected to be saved on completion of the deal.
The Shoprite Group reports having spent more than R700m 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 programme, making it the highest impact employment creator in the programme.
There are numerous in-house and external programmes in place to upskill employees including learnerships, skills programmes, internships, bursaries for tertiary education and partnerships with TVET colleges.
The company states that its suppliers are also helped to ensure their businesses are sustainable and that they have a route to market so that they are also able to create jobs.
The group says that its 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.