Mandisa Ndlovu and owner of Oh Two Printing Stephan De Robillard quality control some of the garments produced by the manufacturer
The Mr Price Foundation’s Professional Retail Programme is a work-readiness programme aimed at South African youth between the ages of 18 and 33.
The work readiness programme, also known as Jump Start, develops the skills of unemployed young people and links them to career opportunities in the retail and supply chain sectors.
Read Mandisa Ndlovu’s career path from side hustles to graduating in Marketing Management, to employment at a leading local clothing manufacturer.
From working in sales, to running side hustles and now working full-time as a Production Coordinator at a local manufacturer, Lwandile Mandisa Ndlovu is a confident young woman who has taken life in its stride and adapted to any challenges (including unemployment) thrown at her.
“My learning journey has been amazing. When I started at Mr Price Foundation, I had no idea what the retail industry was about, especially clothing,” the twenty-four-year old shared.
Mandisa lives with her parents and two younger siblings in Umlazi, Durban. She landed her role as a Production Coordinator at Oh Two Printing in Durban after she completed Jump Start’s Professional Retail Programme (PRP) in 2019, an internship for graduates that exposes them to the retail whole value chain and develops their professional retail skills for careers in buying, planning, operations and store management.
Prior to joining the dynamic internship, she studied Marketing Management at Mangosuthu Technikon completing her one year internship in the sales department at Bidvest Prestige as part of her work-integrated learning (WIL). After graduating in 2016, Mandisa worked at CCI, a call centre. While working as a call centre agent, she also sold Tupperware, to supplement her income. It was during her stint at CCI that she heard about the Mr Price Foundation’s skills development programme, Jump Start.
Mandisa’s role at Oh Two Printing includes her taking care of samples, incoming production, planning daily deliveries of incoming and outgoing products, following up on daily tasks and ensuring they are placed on a schedule, updating customers, coordinating production, providing feedback on customer orders and giving them estimated delivery dates.
“Jump Start has really empowered my life. It taught me independence and the ability to sustain myself. With the right attitude, you can always be up for new challenges and learn new skills!”
After completing her practical internship experience, which included time at various divisions at the Mr Price Group Head Office, as well as at Lucky Bean in Pinetown, she was recommended for a position at another manufacturer.
Stephan De Robillard, owner of Oh Two Printing said, “I needed help within a department around the time Mandisa came in. She’s had training with the programme as well as with other companies, so she understands what is needed.”
“Mandisa has put in her own system, her own spreadsheets, her own production boards. She’s run with them and it’s worked really well and that is what has impressed me. She sits in management meetings and really knows what is happening,” he added.
The 2021 Professional Retail Programme (PRP) commences on March 01 with the nine-month internship focussing on store management and operations, and ends in November with a graduation for the ten Jump Start interns.