Edcon Retail Academy and Leanership

Edcon Retail Academy and Leanership
October 8, 2019 admin

Almost 1000 learners have been given the opportunity to pursue studies at the Edcon Retail Academy through a sponsorship from the Wholesale and Retail Sector Training Authority (W&RSETA).

Speaking at the launch of South Africa’s new corporate university, Edcon Chief Executive Officer, Steve Ross, said plans are in place to change the face of retail.

“We regard employment equity as a necessity to ensure that the potential of our diverse staff complement is maximised in the interests of the business.

“The Edcon Academy is a place where employees build individual and organisational competencies to ultimately increase the performance and long-term sustainability of the organisation,” said Ross.

He highlighted that the Academy is “instrumental in professionalising careers in retail in South Africa,” as those who enrol have the possibility to attain accredited qualifications through partnerships with local and global vendors.

Edcon bought the old Technikon SA building in to establish the retail academy for new recruits, middle management and senior executives to elevate the standard of their training.

In partnership with Stirling University in Scotland, which has offered a renowned retail tertiary degree for over 20 years, Edcon has developed a unique curriculum which includes an internationally recognised MBA in retail management for senior managers.

To date, 18 people have received their MBA in retail management with 15 currently busy with the degree.

According to Edcon Chief Executive for Retail Operations and former Group Human Resources Director Dr Urin Ferndale, “We knew that continuous, life-long learning for current and new employees would be crucial to our success as well as our transformation.”


Ferndale said that by aligning their training with their business strategy, they would have the right skills in place to support current and future business requirements whilst also improving employees’ personal development.

More than 1,000 people have been trained, with all graduates being BEE compliant and all having found employment as assistant buyers or planners, store managers running small stores, or assistant managers running large-format stores, he said.

He explained that classes take the form of both practical and theoretical lectures with retired and current retailers as well as Stirling University’s top four lecturers giving seminars and classes.

In his address as the launch, CEO of the W&RSETA Joel Dikgole announced that the 850 learnerships awarded to the Academy would be fall into four categories:
· 200 unemployed learners on the National Certificate: Retail Shop Floor Practices
· 200 unemployed learners on the National Certificate: Contact Centre Support
· 200 employed learners on the National Certificate: W&R Sales Practice
· 250 employed learners and unemployed graduates on the National Certificate: W&R Operations Supervisors

Dikgole said W&RSETA have contributed R9 million to the academy excluding the sponsored learnerships, and Edcon has put forward R23.4 million.

Upon completion of their relevant courses, “Edcon will absorb 90 to 100% of the unemployed learners” into either Edgars, Jet or CNA, said Dikgole.

Edcon’s CEO highlighted that, “Seven years ago, senior black management at Edcon numbered 30%; today 67% of our senior managers are black.

“Focused and measurable human resources development is indispensable to Edcon’s way of doing business.”

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