The sixth annual run of the Retail Management Development Programme (RMDP) – presented in partnership with Enterprises University of Pretoria (Enterprises UP) and the Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority (W&RSETA) has come to a roaring success, with this year seeing the more than 1 700 successful leaders and managers (with a 98% success rate) being upskilled in the retail and wholesale sectors.
Present at this year’s first certificate ceremony in Gauteng at the Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre – which kicked of a series of national graduation ceremonies – Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Naledi Pandor, commended the long-running success of the programme and those delegates who have completed their journey in becoming industry leaders of tomorrow.
“Programmes such as the RMDP play a major role in contributing to a group of education and empowerment initiatives aimed at addressing the myriad of employment problems in the country. When the public and the private sector unify to address critical societal challenges, much can be achieved,” Dr Pandor stated.
“I am really proud of the collaboration between Enterprises UP and the W&RSETA and I hope it inspires more diverse types of training collaborations.”
The programme runs part-time over the course of a year and consists of theory and practical workplace application, teaching functional management and transformational leadership.
“My dream is to create a retail centre of excellence, not only for South Africa, but for the whole of Africa,” said Dr Chris Lombard, programme leader on the RMDP.
“We have gained great success with the RMDP thus far, owing to competent and committed facilitators, a curriculum based on best practice for Africa, great leadership that support us through tough times and delegates that are eager to learn.”
Dr Christiaan Mostert, a member of the team who presents on the RMDP, conducted research on the competence of delegates who have already completed the finance module presented in the programme. The study found that these delegates are able to apply big-picture thinking, as well as analytical skills, to solve problems and find their causes much quicker and efficiently. Across the board, the study showed that over time, learning is transferred into competence which, in turn, results in productive habits.
Created in response to the lack of formal skills exhibited by middle-managers in the wholesale and retail sectors, the RMDP has since inspired delegates like Ms Nomzamo Mndaweni from Builders Warehouse.
“I had held the position of Admin Manager for three years and thought I had learned the art of the trade. The RMDP revealed that there will always be growth through education. I would love to move to a bigger store. What I learned in the leadership module has geared me to take that step even sooner,” Ms Mndaweni stated.
Above: The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Naledi Pandor (centre) with the Retail Management Development Programme (RMDP) 2017 delegates and course presenters in Gauteng.