On Thursday 29 May Woolworths won the inaugural Good Practice Award for Skills Development at a ceremony hosted by the Wholesale and Retail Sector Education Training Authority (W&RSETA). The award recognises the contribution Woolworths has made to learning and development best practice in the retail sector.

Hosted by the W&RSETA, the awards were adjudicated by a panel including representatives from the SETA, the Consumer Goods Council, Black Business SA and the body of Accredited Private Providers in Education, Training & Development (APPEDT).

The award recognises the work Woolworths is doing for unemployed graduates through their workplace experience programme, the National Qualification Framework (NQF) learnership programmes offered to employees, as well as their Further Education and Training (FET) programme called “Inside Retail”, which was the first of its kind in South Africa.

Commenting on the award Sibongile Antoni, Woolworths Learning and Development Manager said, “We’re humbled to receive an award that recognises our investment in Woolworths employees and retail skills development. The wholesale and retail sector in South Africa is regarded as a growth sector of the economy and a major employer. It is the fourth largest contributor to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with a contribution of around 13.3% and employing approximately 19% of the total active workforce of the country – so there are many opportunities for skilled workers.”

Antoni adds: “Through the public-private partnership with W&RSETA, we aim to educate a new generation of retail employees and make a positive contribution to our community by generating jobs and supporting the National Skills Development Strategy.”

W&RSETA CEO, Mr. Joel Dikgole said the awards were aimed at saluting stakeholders of the SETA, to recognise the collective strides by all in ensuring that skills development remains a reality in the Sector. He also referred the nominees as trailblazers of this initiative and called for an overwhelming response from all stakeholder companies, training providers and learners in future as the awards would be held annually.


Notes to Editor

About Woolworths

Woolworths Holdings Limited is a South African-based retail group listed on JSE Limited (“the JSE”). In South Africa, the group trades through Woolworths (Proprietary) Limited, a respected chain of retail stores offering discerning customers a selected range of quality clothing, food, homeware, beauty and financial services under its own brand name. Woolworths Holdings also owns Country Road Limited, a leading clothing and homeware retailer listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Country Road has acquired two leading Australian retail brands, Witchery and Mimco.

Woolworths was founded by Max Sonnenberg in 1931 officially opening the doors of the first store in Adderley Street, Cape Town on October 31st. His belief that success lay in providing customers with superior quality merchandise at reasonable prices has been instrumental in establishing Woolworths as one of South Africa’s leading retail chains.

About the Wholesale and Retail Sector Education Training Authority

W&RSETA is a public entity which aims to provide for the skills development needs of the Wholesale and Retail (W&R) sector through the implementation of learnerships, disbursement of grants and monitoring of education and training. It was established in 20 March 2000 as a response to the Skills Development Act, No. 97 of 1998.