MRP Foundation’s skills development programme is empowering young people to be winners in their career.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
The well-known proverb was once again at the heart of an inspirational message of hope at the MRP Foundation Jump Start Production Graduation at Breakers Resort Hotel on September 16 where 132 excited young people graduated as multi-skilled machinists and took a step towards breaking the cycle of poverty and inequality.
Partners, strategic suppliers and MRP Foundation associates gathered together to toast the graduates five-month manufacturing and job readiness course where they learned invaluable workplace and manufacturing skills at five of Mr Price Group’s key clothing, footwear and homeware suppliers in KwaZulu-Natal. Of the 132 young graduates, 96 are now employed through strategic suppliers, an incredible 73% employment rate.
In light of South Africa’s unemployment crisis, Karen Wells, MRP Foundation Manager, opened the auspicious occasion by honouring the graduates’ achievements and their willingness to wholeheartedly embrace the opportunity to develop their careers.
“This is a special day to recognise your achievements and an opportunity for us to say well done! The MRP Foundation believes in unlocking tomorrow’s potential through education and skills development. And through the Jump Start programme we aim to connect unemployed youth with skills and practical work experience so they’re able to enter the work market well prepared.”
For Nonhlanhla Zuma, a twenty-one-year-old ambitious graduate from Howick, the manufacturing course gave her hope for herself and South Africa:
“I matriculated in 2014 and didn’t have enough money for tertiary education. It wasn’t easy finding a job and I had given up hope. But MRP Foundation is improving our economy and helping to fight poverty in our community because we now have skills and can earn a sustainable income to help support my family and myself. Thank you to MRP Foundation for giving us the wonderful opportunity to gain experience and exercise our potential through working in the manufacturing space. This training has made a huge difference to our lives.”
With the aim to tackle the challenges of youth unemployment the MRP Foundation’s Jump Start Production programme hopes to boost the local manufacturing sector by developing critical skills and building South Africa’s economy from the ground up.