Above: Delegates and course presenters from the 2016 Retail Management Development Programme (RMDP) who were hosted by the W&RSETA at the graduation ceremony at Emperors Palace in Gauteng.
Retail management training and excellence were celebrated at the fifth annual W&RSETA Retail Management Development Programme (RMDP) certificate ceremony. Nine groups from across South Africa graduated with exclusive certificate ceremonies with the Gauteng region showing the best performance this year.
Enterprises University of Pretoria (Enterprises UP) concluded another successful run of the RMDP in partnership with the Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority (W&RSETA). “The year-long programme was challenging but we are thankful to Enterprises UP, the University of Pretoria and the W&RSETA for their support,” says Dr Chris Lombard, RMDP programme leader. “This years’ delegates stepped up and showed commitment. We are pleased to award this commitment and dedication,” Dr Lombard adds.
The programme runs part-time over the course of the year, combining theory with practical workplace application, teaching functional management and transformational leadership.
The purpose of the RMDP is to equip supervisors and middle-managers with the skills for effective management and to provide them with the opportunity to advance their careers. This is often the case, as many success stories arise from the programme, with participants who are often promoted in their respective companies.
One story of similar career growth is that of Samantha Pillay who was promoted from being a senior store manager to brand manager of a cosmetics company during her time in the programme. “I believe it is through my experience on the RMDP and the vast subject matter covered in the programme that I was able to adapt easily to this very different position,” she explains. “The course presenters really stood out as amazing facilitators, with such enthusiasm and passion that it was not difficult to stay engaged throughout the programme.”
Another satisfied delegate echoes her sentiments, “The most powerful way to develop the capabilities of people at work is through programmes like the RMDP,” says Mishanga Kombo who attended the Western Cape graduation ceremony. She coined the programme as “life changing…” – so much so, that her parents flew all the way from Zambia to attend her graduation and personally thank the course lecturer, Dr Lombard.
She continues: “It has been such a privilege to be a participant in this programme and to meet the professors and experts who continuously challenged us with the practical application and implementation of great ideas.”
The RMDP was introduced as a response to the lack of formal skills exhibited by middle-managers within the Wholesale and Retail Sector. The programme has an alumni of 1 378 members thus far and has gone a long way to establish and promote retail as a career of choice.