Mr Price Foundation Creates ‘Hope4Youth’



  • This Youth Month we celebrate our youth, who never give up despite the odds. 
  • South Africa has more than 4.7 million unemployed youth (15 – 34 years).  
  • Our JumpStart programme has developed over 57,000 youth since 2008. 


This Youth Month, we salute the brave, resilient youth of South Africa, who never give up despite the odds and are determined to build a brighter future!  

We are honoured to play a role in unlocking youth potential in the retail and manufacturing value chain, through our JumpStart skills development programmes. 


“The retail industry has low barriers to entry, which means JumpStart can contribute positively to youth unemployment. We are happy with JumpStart’s achievement of upskilling 57,000 youth since 2008, with an employment rate of 54%. In FY2023 alone, JumpStart upskilled 4,933 youth with 88% (4,430) employed,” said Yurissa Sawers, JumpStart programme manager. 


South Africa faces growing and persistently high youth unemployment, at 59.7% of 15- to 24-year-olds and 40.7% of 25- to 34-year-olds (Stats SA, Q1: 2024). Millennials make up the largest population group, with 21.6 million youth aged 15 to 34, according to Census 2022. 


“Given South Africa’s growing young population and high unemployment, our priority is to empower youth with the skills they need to become economically active,” said Yurissa. 


For youth with a matric pass, JumpStart offers five skills development programmes to open doors to entry-level positions.  The JumpStart Retail Frontline Programme is our flagship and largest programme. For tertiary graduates, the Professional Retail Programme and Professional Manufacturing Programme transfer industry know-how and boost career prospects. 


These programmes strive to make youth more employable, equipping them with life skills and work readiness to bridge the gap between education and the working world, and ensure our candidates are ready to work on day one. 


“Work readiness provides youth with a competitive edge in the job market – because young people who can demonstrate work experience have higher employment outcomes than those without work experience,” said Yurissa.  


Dr Liziwe Masoga, Chief People Officer at Mr Price Group, agreed that work experience can open doors for youth. 

“Research indicates that if you take a young person who is unemployed and you give them a 12-month internship, there is an 80% chance of that person staying in full time employment. It is a foot in the door,” Liziwe said. 

For Sandile Bhengu, JumpStart was a transformative experience.  


“JumpStart changed my life. From day one, it gave me hope. I didn’t think I would ever get employed,” said Sandile, Assistant Store Manager at Mr Price Home in Galleria Mall, one of Durban’s busiest shopping centres.   


Sandile grappled with unemployment for six years after matriculating in 2009. 


“It was a long six years. I applied for many jobs and training, but nothing came through. Since I did JumpStart in 2016, life has improved a lot for me. It helped me get a job at Mr Price. It allowed me to make improvements in my home. I can do many things now because I have a job,” said Sandile.   


Phumlile Tawuzela, a Store Associate at Mr Price Kids at Galleria Mall, said she too was unemployed after matric, and worked a few casual jobs which offered no stability. When she heard how her neighbour was employed at SPAR through JumpStart, she immediately applied.   


“JumpStart changed my life to such a good point because I have been employed full time since 2019,” Phumlile said. 


By working one-on-one with our employer partners, JumpStart can determine employers’ talent needs and match skills development training and candidates to demand. This approach can help catapult youth out of the unemployment ranks. 


Sthabiso Khumalo, a graduate of the inaugural 2007 JumpStart programme and Store Leader at Mr Price Galleria, appreciates the benefit of the JumpStart programme to both employers and prospective employees.  


“JumpStart makes hiring very easy. Our candidates have been through the programme which actually trains them to become the associates that we have now. They have experience. They did in-store training. They understand what we need, and they understand the culture of the business. It’s the only way to go,” said Sthabiso.  


Meshal Govender, Store Manager at Mr Price Chatsworth Centre, currently has four JumpStarters in her management team, including three supervisors and one assistant manager.   


“JumpStart really opens doors. Many JumpStarters in this store have been promoted as assistant managers and visual managers due to their persistence, drive and passion. JumpStart also benefits the company because candidates are trained before they can start their journey at Mr Price,” said Meshal. 


Our youth are our future – and we thank our partners for uniting for greater impact.  


Together, we can unlock tomorrow’s potential! 


Donate to Mr Price Foundation and give Hope4Youth! 


*Please note JumpStart training has commenced in some parts of South Africa, based on demand. 

If you’d like to partner with us or make a donation, please do so here! Together, we can do more!

You might also like

Request a Section 18A Certificate