How we’re empowering the youth and investing in our people
As Edward Snell & Co, the largest privately owned wine and spirits merchant in South Africa, we have a corporate social responsibility as a local employer. One of the ways we act upon this is through our Work Integrated Learning (WIL) programmes which have proved to be an effective vehicle for kickstarting the careers of young people.
Young people on the WIL programmes are provided with opportunities either to gain experience after completing their formal qualification (graduates programme), or to gain experience to qualify for graduation (internship programme), or to simply get a foot in the employment door by learning about the world of work (learnership programme).
In 2004, our WIL programmes began as a mentorship programme for students studying towards sales and marketing-related diplomas. Now, the programmes run across various disciplines within our business, including sales and marketing, production, warehouse and distribution, finance, human resources, planning, engineering, and in our contact centre. We’re proud that, since inception, approximately 300 young people have benefited from the various programmes and, of those, 75 have been successfully appointed to full-time roles within the business.
Our existing employees are equally important to us, and they benefit from a wide range of skills development programmes, as well as coaching and mentorship initiatives in line with their career development and advancement goals. Additional support in the form of bursaries for tertiary education is also available to our employees and their immediate families.
Although employment is not a guarantee at the end of the WIL programme cycle, all participants know that they have notably increased their employability. Through being exposed to real work scenarios, they acquire the necessary skills for the workplace, building both their confidence and competence.
In this way we continue to build upon our well-established tradition of empowering the youth and investing in our people.