Lulaway, an entry level youth employment organisation, recently conducted an initiative to facilitate placements for former-Stuttaford's employees. The employees lost their jobs when the giant retailer closed its doors on 31 July 2017, after desperate attempts to save the company failed.
Jake Willis, CEO of Lulaway, stresses that the logical assumption that there are no available jobs in the economy is incorrect. “Given the drastically high unemployment rate, it is natural to assume that there are no jobs available for those looking for work. That is actually not the full picture. We have found that there are jobs for the right candidates and employers, particularly retailers, are always on the lookout for staff with the required skills and a proven track record.”
Willis says that he was surprised at the overwhelmingly positive response from retailers when asked if they were interested in collaborating with Lulaway to place Stuttaford’s people in jobs.
“We embarked on an initiative to assist employees to find new positions at other retailers, as they are capable, experienced and skilled in clothing retail sector. They lost their jobs through no fault of their own and we realised that they could add value to other companies.
“As a central player in the entry-level recruitment field, we have a large network of clients. We approached dozens of major clothing retailers and the majority were willing to interview these people for available positions. They clearly had a business need for more staff and were not managing to source them easily.”
Retailers who have joined the initiative include Mr Price, H&M, Ackermans, PQ Clothing, Truworths, Sportsman’s Warehouse and Clicks Group.
“Employers are always looking to employ skilled and experienced staff. While national unemployment is worrying, retailers still desperately need skilled staff. Certain segments are expanding and store footprints are growing, especially in the low-cost clothing market and amongst international clothing retailers, which have entered the local markets.
“Recruiting and training inexperienced staff is a costly and time-intensive exercise. High levels of staff turnover combined with high on-boarding costs mean that skilled retail staff are highly sought-after and able to be absorbed into the labour market. Staff with the requisite skills set and experience levels are attractive to potential retailers,” concludes Willis.