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Tackling Unemployment: FoodForward SA’s Commitment to Youth Empowerment

Nearly 60% of young people in South Africa under the age of 24 years are jobless.

One of the major contributing factors to this issue is a lack of skills development or under-skilling, which hinders a young person’s ability to secure employment.

At FoodForward SA we place a high value on youth empowerment, which is why we offer opportunities for young people to acquire new skills, which increases their chances of employment.

In 2019 we launched our supply chain internship programme for unemployed youth. The six-month programme, sponsored by Woolworths, focuses on warehousing, stock management, and logistics and comprises 70% practical and 30% academic training.

FoodForward SA Empowering Youth Through Skills Development

Our inaugural cohort of interns started their training in Cape Town. Since then the programme has expanded to our KwaZulu Natal, Gauteng, and Rustenburg branches.

Now, five years on cohorts 14-16 are well into their first month where they have been learning the ins and outs of warehousing. Top of Form

Caiden Colby, Lutho Ntontela, and Mazizi Hlangani.

In Cape Town, our interns are Caiden Colby, Lutho Ntontela, and Mazizi Hlangani. In Gauteng, we have Zanele Kumalo, Nomsa Mayisela, and Sanele Magudulela. In KwaZulu Natal, our interns are Paul Mthombeni, Ntokoza Nduli, and Thobisile Zondi.

Since the inception of the programme, we have provided training for over 60 interns and extended permanent employment opportunities to 19 of them, resulting in numerous success stories.

Zanele Kumalo, Nomsa Mayisela, and Sanele Magudulela.

One such story is that of Dylan Simpson, whose inspiring story serves as a testament to the success of the programme.

Cultivating Success: Dylan’s Inspiring Journey of Growth at FoodForward SA

Dylan, began his journey with FFSA in 2019 as part of our inaugural cohort of interns.

Although his initial stint ended after completing a six-month internship, he remained determined to pursue a career with us.

After a period of searching for opportunities, Dylan returned to FFSA  and was employed as a general worker, based in the warehouse.

He seized the opportunity and later obtained his code 10 truck driver’s licence, which allows him to drive our five-tonne and eight-tonne trucks.

Reflecting on his journey, Dylan says: “I started in 2019 with a six-month internship. Afterwards, there was a gap (of unemployment) before I was offered a role as a general worker.

“During this time, I took the initiative to get my code 10 truck driver’s licence.

Dylan didn’t immediately start driving the trucks after getting his licence, he had to learn and observe from the other drivers first before he could get behind the wheel.

“Over the past year and a half, I’ve been driving the five-tonne and 8-ton trucks.

“I am now in the process of getting my code 14 licence so I can drive trucks with trailers,” he says.

Dylan’s journey is just one of the many success stories of empowerment at FFSA.

His resilience, determination, and commitment to personal growth are a testament to the opportunities provided by our organisation.

A huge thank you to Woolworths for their generous sponsorship, which enables us to create these opportunities and support our mission of empowering youth through upskilling initiatives.

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