Financial growth and sustainability in retail SMMEs: study of work-integrated learning policy

24 Jan 2018

This evaluation of Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) with Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME) retailers in South Africa arose from observations that vocational education goals required in this sector are not being achieved. Qualitative methodologies were used, including dialogic interviews and questionnaire surveys of purposive samples of SMME retailers, tertiary vocational educators and retail students, as well as insights from large retailers and skills development facilitators. Findings indicate lack of consensus on WIL strategies, and that for WIL within retail SMMEs to succeed, small business management capacity and entrepreneurial competence need to be supported by pre-WIL processes and mentorship strategies. To promote workbased learning within SMMEs, recommendations are made for policy review by W&RSETA management, vocational educators and small business development organisations.