Business / Companies

Wal-Mart to invest more on retail skill training

By Zhu Wenqian (China Daily) Updated: 2014-08-13 07:26

Wal-Mart Stores Inc is helping to launch a three-year training program across China with the aim of producing more than 20,000 vocational school graduates to meet the increasing demand of the retail job market.

Wal-Mart China will team up with the China Chain Store and Franchise Association to initiate the Future Retail Star Training program, which starts in August.

Wal-Mart China has donated 5 million yuan ($812,000) to provide training with focus on customer service, marketing and chain store operations to 100 vocational schools.

"The retail sector in China maintains a high speed of growth and is in urgent need of more professionals amid sluggish sales growth and rising labor costs," said Guo Geping, president of CCFA.

China is experiencing a shortage of retail talent and skill gaps among employees with regard to e-commerce systems and other management skills.

In the next three years, Wal-Mart plans to open 110 new stores in China, many of them located in second- and third-tier cities, as well as investing in its distribution centers and remodeling existing stores.

This expansion will create more than 20,000 job vacancies with between 100 and 400 jobs at each store. More than 85 percent of the positions will place workers in the supermarkets.

"Some Wal-Mart staff members are getting older and are not familiar with online-to-offline business," said Wu Zenglun, senior director of human resources at Wal-Mart China. "The key strategies are food safety and category management training."

Raymond Bracy, senior vice-president of corporate affairs at Wal-Mart China, said the high demand for entry-level retail employees prompts the need for professional retail vocational training with emphasis on practical and soft skills, such as communication and teamwork.

"We will not only train future retail talent, but also provide internships and career opportunities to the vocational school graduates in this program across the country," Bracy said. "Students in this vocational training program may be prospective candidates for positions as retail store associates and even managers."

This latest venture shows Wal-Mart's global commitment to retail training programs.

"Education and training are two key factors in job placement, which proves to be true throughout the world," Bracy said.

"Education and training may enhance workers' professional skills, thus helping them grow in their career path and helping companies to maintain key talents. If employees are more satisfied with their job, it's good for the business."

Wal-Mart to invest more on retail skill training

Wal-Mart to invest more on retail skill training

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