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Woolworths helps students with a career in retail
Apr '13
Woolworths has designed a programme for academic staff at 6 FET colleges in the Western Cape, in collaboration with the Wholesale & Retail SETA, to help their students with a career in retail.

The programme will help to close the skills gap and prepare graduates for a career in retail. The programme works with academics across disciplines like hospitality, finance, marketing, information technology and business administration. The teaching staff will visit stores, head office, the distribution centre and suppliers to give them an in-depth insight into how the retail environment operates from supplier to customer. They will spend time on-site from 1 to 5 July 2013.

“Partnerships between the private sector, educational institutions and government are critical in addressing the gap in skills in the retail environment,” says Dr. Thami Mazwai, Chairman Wholesale & Retail SETA.

“Woolworths has decided to pioneer this collaboration for the benefit of retail in South Africa, by engaging in knowledge sharing with lecturers to bridge the divide between current workplace reality and the educational curriculum,” says Chantal Butler, Head of Organisation Effectiveness and Remuneration at Woolworths. “Our partnership with W&R SETA is part of our long-term skills development plan to get closer to learners and lecturers and provide meaningful experience to open up retail careers,” Butler continued.

This initiative is a prime example of how the private sector can work with higher education institutions to produce the graduates needed to drive our economy.

The partnership between Woolworths, W&R SETA and the FET Colleges was formalised at an event at 15 on Orange Hotel on 24 April 2013.  The colleges that will participate in the programme are: South Cape College, West Coast College, Boland College, False Bay College, Northlink College and Cape Town College.

During this session lecturers were given the opportunity to provide input into the programme and to help establish the learning outcomes.  Their feedback will be incorporated into the programme to ensure better equipped and knowledgeable lecturers emerge.

Woolworths has partnered with the SITA and the University of Stellenbosch Business School in January 2010 to provide training for unemployed graduates who were interested in employment in the retail sector.


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