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International Leadership Development Programme

The objective of this flagship project which is in its ninth year (2017/18) of successful implementation is to increase the talent pipeline of highly promotable, historically disadvantaged leaders within the Wholesale and Retail Sector who have been earmarked for senior or executive positions in their companies.

The ILDP exposes delegates to best practice in wholesale and retail locally and internationally, and have the opportunity to interact with global thought leaders. 290 senior executives have benefitted from the Programme and are making remarkable strides in advancing the Wholesale and Retail Sector. A total investment of over R 160m has been made towards the ILDP since its launch in 2009.

Since its inception, the ILDP has been instrumental in the promotion of over 100 delegates with several being allocated additional responsibilities in their portfolios. Delegates have been promoted to positions of directors, general managers, executives, managing directors, chief financial officers, and have been appointed to the Executive Committees of retail companies. Some of the delegates have pursued entrepreneurial opportunities starting their own businesses which are contributing to the growth of the country.

Retail Management Development Programme (RMDP)

The inaugural Wholesale and Retail SETA Retail Management Development Programme (RMDP) was launched in 2012 as a response to the skills gaps within the current middle management complement within the Sector and create a pool of skilled middle managers. The Programme equips delegates with prerequisite skills to become effective managers. RMDP graduates have the opportunity to further their learning with a career path into the ILDP.

The Retail MDP also seeks to create an avenue for retail management development for prospective retail managers. The Sector Skills Plan has identified retail management development as a key requirement which is attributed to the relatively low skills requirement to enter the Sector as many retail managers are developed within the business.

Since its inception, 1738 delegates have successfully completed the Programme. The SETA has invested over 18m for the 2018 Programme which will benefit 400 middle managers across the country.

Rural and Cooperative Development Registered Co-operatives Project

For 2018/19 financial year, W&RSETA will capacitate 50 Co-operatives nationally with skills development initiatives, over 750 members from the 50 co-operatives will be trained on credit bearing skills programmes through the 50 registered co-operatives.

Rural Learnerships and Green Skills Project

Through the Rural Learnerships and Green Skills project, the W&RSETA will train 400 learners on Informal Small Business Practice NQF Level 3 qualification and other 100 to train on National Certificate: Bread and Flour Confectionery Baking Level 3 qualification.

Mhinga Village Project III

In support of the agenda on rural development, the W&RSETA will implement the Mhinga III project to benefit young people of the rural village of Ka-Mhinga in Malamulele, Limpopo, with a budget of R6,3 million.

The project will benefit 150 young people from Ka-Mhinga and surrounding villages who have been enrolled on the National Certificate Wholesale and Retail Operations – Supervision NQF Level 4 qualification. Accredited training provider, Retail Relate will provide the training and the learners will be placed at various stores within the Foschini Group within The Foschini Group around Malamulele, Polokwane, Tzaneen and Giyani areas

Accreditation of W&RSETA Rural Training Providers

One of the challenges in the provision of training is the high cost of conducting training in the rural areas. The W&RSETA seeks to respond to this challenge by capacitating training providers based in rural communities to provide training within their areas. Four training providers will be assisted to register with the CIPC, thereafter to obtain accreditation with the W&RSETA. Subsequently the W&RSETA will facilitate their registration with the DHET as private providers.

Regional Projects

The SETA is cognisant of the varying skills development needs of the Provinces and implements projects that address the specific needs.

SME Discretionary Grant

The purpose of the SME Discretionary Grant is to provide funding for small and medium levy-paying companies to benefit from skills development intervention and to increase the pool of participating SMEs in the W&RSETA programmes. The Grants are provided in line with the availability of funds.

The Retail Chair

The W&RSETA established the Wholesale and Retail Leadership Chair at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) 2012. The objective of the Retail Leadership Chair is to contribute towards research and the development of W&R qualifications from NQF 5 -10 through collaboration between the Sector, labour and institutions of higher learning. The collaboration between the key role players will ensure a pool with suitably qualified and experienced entrants for the Sector and that the skills levels of the current workforce are improved. The Chair of Retail also provides support to the post-graduate students.

Durban University of Technology (DUT) has been appointed as the second Retail Chair for two years at a budget of R8m.

Post Graduate Research Bursaries

Subsequent to the establishment of the W&RSETA Retail Chair and the allocation of bursaries to Masters and Doctoral students, the demand for bursaries for these high level programmes has increased dramatically. This has resulted in the W&RSETA allocating funds to assist employees from wholesale and retail companies to pursue post graduate studies in research.

The programme provides financial assistance to qualifying individuals to further their studies in Masters or Doctoral degree qualification. The beneficiaries are recruited from wholesale and retail companies that will in turn be required to allow their workplaces to be subject for research by the beneficiaries. Since inception, 46 MBA and 16 PHD bursaries were awarded

Graduate Placement and Internship project

The W&RSETA is cognisant of the plight of unemployed graduates which is largely attributed to the skills mismatch of the graduates and the needs of industry. To this end, the W&RSETA has garnered the support of the Wholesale and Retail Sector to implement graduate placement and internship programmes to ensure that students obtain the necessary work experience to prepare them for the world of work. Each year the W&RSETA places graduates and students to acquire workplace experiences at various wholesale and retail companies.

Capacitation of TVET College Lecturers

The W&RSETA implements the TVET Lecturer Capacitation programme to improve the knowledge of lecturers on the retail subjects that are offered TVET Colleges. The objective of the project is to capacitate TVET lecturers on the developed retail subject’s curriculum, guidelines, integrated assessment and tools. As part of the project, lecturers are placed within wholesale and retail companies to obtain practical experience of the subjects that they deliver.

To date, the W&RSETA has capacitated over 30 lectures through this program with collaboration with the Sectors.

Development of W&R Qualifications

One of the W&RSETA’s main functions is to ensure the development of relevant and current qualifications that meet the needs of the Wholesale and Retail Sector and are aligned to the requirements of the QCTO. The W&RSETA has established the Qualification Management Body (QMB) which comprises companies, representatives from organised labour, private training providers as well as TVET colleges and universities to facilitate the qualifications development for the Sector.

In 2018/19, the W&RSETA will develop two additional occupational qualifications; informal Small Business Manager and Sales Representative. Another focus will be on the update of the OFO Codes and tasks to include green skills. The SETA will also ensure proper communication of the W&RSETA’s occupational qualifications, green skills and the Retail Manager qualification pilot implementation.

Currently the SETA has developed 13 occupational qualifications in line with QCTO requirements.

W&RSETA Research Agenda

The W&RSETA Research agenda seeks to conduct research on various outlined topics critical to update the SSP, provide in-depth information on the Sector for strategic purposes and inform the W&RSETA Strategy and Annual Performance Plans. The main problem is the limited labour market research and trend analysis to inform the Sector growth and development.

The W&RSETA research agenda will provide an opportunity to improve the labour market data that is used in the development of the Sector skills plan, development of Sector specific skills interventions that are responsive to sector demands and contribute to the professionalisation of the sector.


To address some of the skills shortages identified in the Sector Skills Plan, the W&RSETA established a Bursary Scheme in 2011. The Scheme is aimed at providing financial assistance to needy students to study wholesale and retail qualifications. The bursary scheme is open to learners who want to study any of the retail related qualifications at a recognised university, universities of technology and TVET College in South Africa.

The Bursary Scheme assists the Sector by providing a pool of potential employees with scarce and critical skills, thus narrowing the gap between supply and demand. It further promotes and positions wholesale and retail as a career of choice.

Since 2011, R415 million in bursaries have been allocated to over 12 000 students at universities and TVET colleges, the number include bursaries funded through Discretionary and PIVOTAL grants.

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