Pernod Ricard South Africa addresses skills shortage by launching a R7m bursary programme

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Press Release 19/01/2023

Pernod Ricard South Africa addresses skills shortage by launching a R7m bursary programme

Available to students in relevant fields of study who are from disadvantaged backgrounds

Pernod Ricard South Africa has launched a R7million bursary programme to assist qualifying university students from disadvantaged backgrounds across South Africa, to complete their studies in 2023.

The company will be accepting applications from full-time, undergraduate university students in their second year of study and onwards until 15 February.

“Pernod Ricard sees incredible potential in South Africa’s young people and by investing in their development in the most important career fields, we want to generate a pipeline of critical skills that will take us as a country and as a business to the next level of growth,” says Shireen Maharaj, Human Resources Director at Pernod Ricard South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to Statistics South Africa’s latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey, the unemployment rate in South Africa reached 27.9 percent among workers aged 35 to 44 years in the third quarter of 2022 (down from 29.1 percent in the same quarter the year before). Among young South Africans (15 to 24 years old), the unemployment rate is at its highest, 59.6 percent.

According to a report by recruitment group Michael Page, the most in-demand skills in the economy are in the finance, engineering, technology and legal professions. The top positions that companies are in need of include internal auditors, senior traders, commercial finance managers, engineering project directors, quality control managers, tax consultants, corporate counsel (in-house), compliance officers and similar roles. Pernod Ricard’s unique operational model also makes use of technology skills to support the increasingly AI-enabled sales function.

The Pernod Ricard South Africa 2023 Bursary Programme is a comprehensive bursary that includes:

  • Tuition: 100% of the prescribed university tuition fees, registration fees and exam fees paid in full once registration for the year is confirmed.
  • Student Accommodation: Accommodation in a single room at a university residence at which the applicant is studying, is included if the student stays on campus. If there is a charge for meals this is also covered.
  • Sundry Allowance: Students will receive a sundry allowance of R15 000 per annum to be paid directly to the student at the beginning of academic year intended to cover study materials and other sundry expenses.

“While many bursary programmes will only cover a portion of the needs of students, we recognise the fact that financial pressures can be a major distraction in the way of a student’s success,” Maharaj says. “By covering these needs in such a comprehensive way, we want to make sure they are free to focus on their studies which will increase their chances of success.”

Applicants must attain and sustain an academic aggregate of 65% and above for the academic year of study. Bursaries will be awarded to applicants from their second year of study onwards provided they have obtained a minimum of 65% pass rate on all modules completed in their previous year of study. Shortlisted applicants may be required to undergo assessments and attend interviews.