Leading retailers Mr Price Group and The SPAR Group join forces to train young jobseekers.
Leading retailers Mr Price Group and The SPAR Group join forces to train young jobseekers.

JumpStart graduates photographed along with Mr Price and Spar reps: (L to R) Ncamsile Majozi, Natasja Ambrosia (MRP Foundation Director), Pam Steyn (The SPAR Group), Thobeka Mtolo and Thobile Mcanyana. PHOTO: MRP FOUNDATION / PIERRE TOSTEE

 

With unemployment on the rise, Mr Price Group and The SPAR Group, through the work of the MRP Foundation, have partnered to give matriculants the skills they need to get into the job market so that they can become positive contributors to the South African economy.

The MRP Foundation’s Jump Start programme, started in 2007, provides a springboard for jobseekers by providing practical retail skills training. Scores of young people have successfully been employed after completing the programme and between October 2012 and 2015, 4 266 people were hired – exceeding all targets.

Retail delegates take part in a life-skills programme and a week of in-store training. If they pass the assessment and there is a job available, they may be employed. With the plan now extended to include The SPAR Group, the pool of possible job opportunities for successful trainees has widened significantly. “Because we have so many similar challenges in retail it made sense for us to form this partnership and make a larger impact in the retail sector than we can achieve alone,” said MRP Foundation Director Natasja Ambrosio. “It also means that we can learn from each other and achieve greater results.”

The SPAR Group has contributed R1.5 million to expand the reach of the skills development programme. “We recognise that this is a strategic imperative for our Group as it offers our retailers a one-stop solution to their recruitment needs. It also talks to our Group Strategy by addressing our ‘Best in Fresh’ objective and thus ensuring a pipeline of skilled people to guarantee the continued sustainability of the retailers’ businesses,” said Pam Steyn from The SPAR Group.

Ambrosio added:

“Having a job not only transforms an individual from a situation of dependency to self-sufficiency, it also provides a sense of value, dignity and self-worth. Many people simply cannot access jobs, because they either don’t know where to look, or they don’t have sufficient work experience. With JumpStart, we develop the necessary skills and experience required to secure a job, and help young people to connect through their local community to available jobs close to where they live.”