Our JumpStart Retail Frontline Programme (RFP) has created thousands of stories of hope since its inception in 2007. It unlocks opportunities for youth to entry-level positions in the retail world, by equipping JumpStarters with sought-after retail skills and employment readiness.
One of our ambitious RFP alumni is Izerie Levember, Store Manager at Mr Price Sport in Paarl, in the Western Cape.
“It’s through JumpStart that I am where I am today. If it wasn’t for JumpStart giving me an opportunity to get work and gain experience, I don’t know where I would be now, because it was and still is a struggle to find a job in our economy,” says Izerie.
The RFP is a two-week programme composed of an online life skills course, in-person training and interviews, and one week of hands-on work experience in a retail environment. The life skills component covers important topics such as personal development, self-esteem, emotional development, healing of the past, work ethic and time management, and job preparation.
It all adds up to greater employability. In the 2023 financial year, 4 933 youth were upskilled by JumpStart, with 4 330 going on to find employment – a resounding 88% employment rate.
The JumpStart RFP set the foundation for Izerie’s career in retail. Izerie matriculated in 2018 and completed the JumpStart RFP at the age of 18. In December 2019, he joined the Mr Price family and quickly progressed from Store Associate to Supervisor and Assistant Manager. Today, he is a Store Manager at Mr Price Sport. But he’s not finished yet!
Energetic, hardworking and motivated, Izerie lives by his motto of ‘always live life to the fullest’. “JumpStart is just a guideline. It helps you take the first step into retail – then it depends on what you want to do with that opportunity. I’m not done with growing. I still want to grow in the business, start a family, buy a house and build my empire.”
JumpStart programmes are continually evolving to ensure the candidates it produces fulfil the needs of the retail and manufacturing value chain. Job placements are not guaranteed on completion of training – although Mr Price Foundation works closely with employer partners to create a pipeline of suitable, work-ready talent.
Thanks to the strong foundation laid by JumpStart, Izerie now has the opportunity to build the career of his choice. He encourages other youth to follow in his footsteps. “Grab the opportunity with both hands and make the best of it. If I can do it, then you can also,” says Izerie.