Equipping young professionals to grow, and excel in, their retail career
The Jump Start Retail Essentials Programme has equipped 19 young people from Gauteng with the introductory knowledge and real-life work experience to succeed in the world of retail. Of those youth, 9 have already found employment in local retailers. These graduates recently celebrated their achievements at their graduation, held at African Footprints Lodge in Midrand, on Thursday, 29 August.
While engaging with local retailers, MRP Foundation discovered a significant knowledge gap between first-time job applicants and more specialised roles. The Retail Essentials Programme was created to bridge this divide and prepare youth for skilled, sought-after retail roles. When positions became available after completion of the programme, candidates are then connected to employment opportunities in those retail environments.
During the six-month course, graduates completed the Introduction to Retailing Course offered by Unisa whilst experiencing the inner workings of a store environment and learning firsthand about the importance of customer experience, store location, marketing and in-store merchandising.
Former Jump Starter, Tumelo Mokoena, encouraged the graduates with his own story of struggle and victory. Three years ago, Tumelo joined the Jump Start Retail Frontline Programme, an entry level retail programme, after approaching a retail store looking for work. Instead of a casual job, he gained valuable life skills, as well as work experience, that has set him up for career success. Tumelo now works as an Assistant Store Manager at mrp SPORT, in mrp Sport Forest Hill.
“The programme really propelled me and gave me the tools to better myself and grow yourself in the business. It’s not just about being the most popular, success has to do with your personality, goals and what you want to achieve. The programme really changed my life.”
See more inspiring images from the Graduation here.