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Supply Chain Internship helps create opportunities for SA’s youth

FoodForward SA recently launched its inaugural Supply Chain Youth Internship Programme.  Michaela Arendse, Sanelisiwe Copiso, Michaela Rix, Dylan Simpson and Kieron Swartz were selected as our first cohort of interns.  They will be based at our Cape Town warehouse for the duration of their internship.  

“At FoodForward SA, we see ourselves as being an enabler for social change.  In light of the alarming statistics around youth unemployment, we wondered if there was a way that we could contribute to making employment opportunities available for youth.  We know that lack of experience can be a huge barrier to entry for disadvantaged youth wanting to build a career in supply chain management, and wanted to do something to remove those barriers for at least a few young people.” said Andy Du Plessis.

The internship programme was launched in May 2019 and will run for six months.  It is comprised of 70% workplace experience and a 30% academic component.  DQ Staffing Solutions is the training provider, offering accredited and certified training to the interns.

We caught up with each of our interns after their first few weeks in the programme and asked them of their impressions of the internship so far.


Pictured here from left to right are Dylan Simpson, Sanelisiwe Copiso, Michaela Arendse and Michaela Rix. Not pictured: Keiron Swartz


Michaela Arendse

“I had seen ads in stores and on Facebook, and I had heard the name FoodForward SA on the radio, but I didn’t really know what it was about.  Now that I’m here, I’m really enjoying learning what it entails to distribute the different foods to the various beneficiary organisations, and just getting to know the whole process and how the supply chain works.  It’s really interesting, and it’s been lots of fun getting to know everyone here at the warehouse.”


Sanelisiwe Copiso

“I would like people to know that the supply chain process has more to it than you might think.  This is my first job and I have to say it’s not what I expected it to be.  I didn’t know there were so many “departments” to the supply chain.  I like it because I am learning and gaining experience.  I think this is the kind of thing I could see myself doing, going forward.”


Michaela Rix

“I used to work in retail, so to me retail and supply chain management go hand in hand. I’m enjoying myself here because the staff are very friendly and it feels good coming to work here every day. Working with the beneficiary organisations is also quite exciting, learning more about what’s going on out there in the communities and how we are helping to make a difference.  I also really love seeing the appreciation on people’s faces when they come to collect their food.  It’s a really good feeling.”


Dylan Simpson

“I’m finding it very interesting learning how to deal with different aspects of the warehouse’s operations, for instance the beneficiary organisations coming to collect food, and volunteers coming to do charity work here. I’m enjoying getting to know new people, learning new things and tackling new challenges.”


Kieron Swartz

“To be honest, when I applied for this post, I didn’t know what supply chain management was.  I was expecting more of an office job, so in that sense being based in a warehouse is not at all what I expected.  I feel like I’m learning about supply chain management from the ground up, and I’m enjoying it because there are a lot of things that I never knew about before, and I love learning new things and applying myself to them.  Now that I’m here I’ve started doing some research on supply chain management, which is a scarce skill here in South Africa. I think this internship and the qualification that it offers will definitely open up doors for me to bigger things, and I’m definitely excited to see where this opportunity leads me.”


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