Current Projects


The 2021/22  International Leadership Development Programme marks the tenth offering of this prestigious programme that was launched in 2009 to increase the talent pipeline of highly promotable, historically disadvantaged leaders within the Wholesale and Retail Sector. Highly talented individuals who have been earmarked for senior or executive positions in their companies are exposed to best practice in wholesale and retail locally and internationally through crafted immersions and interaction with global thought leaders. Senior executives who have benefitted from the programme are making remarkable strides in advancing the Wholesale and Retail Sector.

A total of  90 delegates have been enrolled for the 2021/22 ILDP which will be delivered by the  University of Pretoria’s business school,  Gordon Institute for Business Science (GIBS).



For over 10 years the W&RSETA has been implementing  the Retail Management Development Programme which was launched in 2012 as a response to the skills gaps within the current middle management complement in the Sector. Additionally, the RMDP was designed to create a pool of skilled middle managers as identified through the SETA’s Sector Skills Plan. The programme equips delegates with prerequisite skills to become effective managers and prepares graduates to further their learning with a career path into the ILDP.

The current  2021/22  RMDP  has registered a total of 320 delegates with Regenesys Business School.



Through its Research Agenda, the W&RSETA  conducts research studies on various outlined topics critical to update the SSP, provide in-depth insights on the sector for strategic purposes and inform the W&RSETA Strategic and Annual Performance Plans. The Research Agenda  addresses the main challenge of limited labour market research and trend analysis to inform the sector growth and development.  It further contributes towards improving the labour market data that is used in the development of the Sector Skills Plan, development of specific skills interventions that are responsive to sector demands and professionalisation of the sector.

In February 2022, the W&RSETA and Namibia Training Authority signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding aimed at enabling both parties to enhance their skills planning through collaborative research, shared experiences, and skills development activities of mutual interest.



Since the conceptualisation of this initiative, the W&RSETA has established  three Wholesale and Retail Leadership Chairs at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology,  Durban University of Technology and University of Johannesburg. The objective of the Retail Leadership Chairs 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 improve  skills levels of the current workforce. The Retail Chair at  Cape Peninsula University of Technology was  the first of its kind in Africa when it was launched in 2012.



To address the skills shortages identified in the Sector Skills Plan, the W&RSETA established a Bursary Scheme in 2011 to provide financial assistance to needy students to study wholesale and retail qualifications at   public and private universities, universities of technology and TVET colleges. The Bursary Scheme  creates a pool of potential employees with scarce and critical skills, thus narrowing the gap between skills supply and demand in the sector. It further promotes and positions wholesale and retail as a career of choice. The scheme is administered by institutions of learning, and students must apply at the institution where they are accepted or registered to study.



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,  supported by the Wholesale and Retail Sector, offers students work experience to prepare them for the world of work.



The W&RSETA has partnered with Sekhukhune TVET College to construct its first Skills Development Centre. This is the W&RSETA’s initiative to support the objectives of the National Skills Development Plan to provide infrastructure support to TVET colleges and the goal of the National Development Plan to produce 30 000 artisans annually by 2030. The centre, which is being built in Groblersdal, Limpopo at a cost of R146m will produce artisans in different sectors including wholesale and retail. The construction of the skills centre will be completed in 2023.



The development of Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) is one of the W&RSETA’s main priorities which aims to position SMMEs to grow their businesses and enable them to compete with established retailers and foreign owned businesses.



Through the SME Discretionary Grant, the W&RSETA provides funding for small and medium levy-paying companies to benefit from skills development interventions that address their unique needs, and to increase the pool of SMEs participating in the W&RSETA programmes. The W&RSETA provides skills development grants up to R9500 to 3500 levy-paying companies through the SME Discretionary Grant annually.



The W&RSETA Informal Traders and Micro Enterprises Development programme aims to address the challenges faced by local informal traders and micro enterprises through skills development. The ITAMED programme assists informal traders and micro enterprises to position their businesses  to compete with big retailers that are entering the township market as well as foreign traders. Every year, the W&RSETA supports  2400 informal traders on capacitation programmes which focus on marketing, financial management, customer service and entrepreneurship. In addition, the W&RSETA provides the participants with a small grant  to invest  in their businesses.



The W&RSETA supports government’s efforts to reduce youth unemployment in South Africa through entrepreneurship. With the introduction of the National Skills Development Plan in 2020 which prioritises entrepreneurship, the W&RSETA has accelerated its efforts to assist young people grow their businesses. Through the Entrepreneurship Development Programme, the W&RSETA supports 250 young people annually. The three-month programme incorporates skills programmes, and focuses on mentorship and coaching. On completion, the W&RSETA provides a R15 000 voucher to the learners to invest in their businesses.