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Shoprite’s job creation plan empowers the deaf

Metrosmag,SA

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Over 400 deaf and hearing impaired people across South Aifrca have found an opportunity for gainful employment within the Shoprite Group, thanks to the retailer’s Decade of the Deaf Project in partnership with Employ and Empower Deaf (eDeaf) over the past six years.

The aim is to provide jobs for 1000 deaf learners within a 10-year period.

The Shoprite Group, in partnership with eDeaf and the Wholesale and Retail SETA, started this inspiring initiative in 2009 by recruiting, training and placing deaf employees in Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets throughout Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape, with recruitment expanding to the Eastern Cape most recently. The wholesale and retail industry is perfectly suited for deaf candidates in all areas from receiving and merchandising to work as deli assistants and cashiers.

Deaf candidates are taught 13 different skills programmes as part of a one year learnership in a National Certificate: Wholesale and Retail Operations National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 2. The Shoprite Group was the first long-term invested employer in the retail sector to offer this qualification to disabled (deaf and hearing impaired) learners and those who qualify are guaranteed employment within the Group following a competency evaluation. Training is conducted by a specialised team of deaf facilitators and learners are taught in South African Sign language.

“September is International Month for Deaf People. We at eDeaf and the Deaf community at large, thank the group for joining hands with us and affording the opportunity to these candidates to grow and build a career in retail,” says eDeaf’s executive member, Nazereen Bhana.

The Group also has a coaching capacity building programme in which deaf employees from previous intakes are trained to coach the new intake of deaf learners and all stores are sensitised in communicating with deaf staff members.

The Shoprite Group acknowledges that working in a busy retail environment, serving mostly hearing customers, is a challenging task and it is proud to be associated with an initiative aimed at empowering a disadvantaged part of society.

Metrosmag,sa ( inspired by Mzansi Lifestyle ) Mzansi is rich in Lifestyle, a nation diverse in race and culture. Mzansi Magazine explores the rich heritage , versitile culture and the celebrations of Life in Mzansi. Metros Magazine, SA is South Africa's informative Metropolitan lifestlye magazine with all the fresh and important news in Mzansi.

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SA’s most stressful jobs revealed

Metrosmag,SA

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Stress is a big part of our everyday lives, but it’s what we do for a living that could just tip us over the edge. A just-released survey conducted by mental wellness advocate, Pharma Dynamics, reveals which careers rank amongst the most stressful.

Almost 2 000 respondents living and working in South Africa participated in the online survey, which aimed to measure job-related stress based on several stress triggers. These included factors such as the physical and mental demands of a job, deadlines, how much traveling is required, whether it entails working long hours, being exposed to public scrutiny, dealing with conflict and generally what type of risks are associated with various professions.

Mariska van Aswegen, spokesperson for Pharma Dynamics – a pharmaceutical firm specialising in central nervous system medication for the treatment of depression and anxiety – says it was interesting to see where various professions were plotted on the stress chart.

“To some, certain occupations might not appear to be stressful, while in reality they are. Sitting behind a desk all day might seem like a cosy job, but many white-collar professions can produce an enormous amount of stress,” she says.

Based on the findings, pilots claimed the top spot overall, largely due to the high degree of personal risk the job poses to themselves and others. The taxing physical and mental demands of the role, on top of working long and arduous hours, also added to its high stress rating. At the other end of the scale was a surprising find… Economists, who under the dire current economic climate should be stressed beyond measure, appear to be the least stressed among the 40+ professions that were included in the survey.

Hair stylists, which came in at second place, also have it rough. Most cited the degree of competitiveness in the industry, unmanageable deadlines and the constant pressure of working in the public eye as reasons for their stress. The environment in which most salons operate is often fast-paced and exposes hair stylists to unhealthy fumes and noise, which could potentially add to their already high levels of anxiety. The job is also physically demanding as it requires a lot of standing and many suffer from chronic back pain as a result.

Farm life with its country setting is often idealised, but as the pace of agriculture increases along with the unescapable threat of global warming it comes as no surprise that farming counts among the third most stressful occupations in SA.

Occupation Average stress score
Pilot
Hair stylist
Farmer
Film director
Nurse
Police officer
Corporate executive
CEO
Doctor
Singer
3.74
3.00
2.98
2.89
2.89
2.86
2.79
2.79
2.74
2.71

Van Aswegen says even though not all jobs require the same level of stress and effort, stress remains an unwelcome part of any profession.

“Of particular concern however is the high level of stress that participants across various career fields reported. More than 31% referred to their jobs as extremely stressful, 40% described their job-stress as mild, while only 29% cited work-stress as manageable.

“Chronic stress can have a long-term effect on the mind and body, and when stress starts interfering with your ability to live a normal life, it becomes even more dangerous. Chronic stress may also cause disease, either because of changes in your body or overeating, smoking and other bad habits people use to cope with stress. If you experience constant job strain, it increases the stress hormone, cortisol, which affects many brain functions and could in turn increase your risk of depression and anxiety.

“October is recognised as National Mental Health Awareness Month, which makes the last stretch of the year an important time to reflect on work-related stress and the impact it has on our mental well-being.

“To many, persistent stress and anxiety are a normal part of life, but it shouldn’t be. Make a point of measuring how much stress is in your life by identifying the situations that cause it most, how often these occur and what you can do to prevent it,” advises van Aswegen.

Some stress-busting measures include:

  • Walking away when you are angry before reacting
  • Exercising – physical activity increases the production of endorphins which will give your mood an instant boost
  • Resting your mind by turning off multi-media devices completely or at least limiting screen time
  • Reaching out to friends and family by letting them know you’re having a tough time at work
  • Making time for enjoyable activities every day
  • Getting enough shut-eye – at least eight hours a night

If, however, you continue to feel overwhelmed by job-stess, consult a psychologist or contact Pharma Dynamics’ toll-free helpline on 0800 205 026, which is manned by trained counsellors who are on call from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.

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Getting your CV past the screening robots

Metrosmag,SA

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How To Get Your CV Past the Robots

Ever get the feeling that the CVs you send potential employers don’t even get looked at? That could be because they’re not. Screening software can filters out applications that don’t appear to meet the job criteria, so you’ll need to be savvy if you want your CV to be seen. Adzunainvestigates and offers advice on how to avoid these pitfalls.

Follow these 15 tips and you could inch your way closer to an interview by barging past the digital doormen.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) – software that helps hirers by storing your CV in a searchable database by using a parser. An ATS can be very sophisticated or pretty primitive; your CV should get past both.

Parser – A software component that removes styling to leave strings of text which are machine readable.

Do’s:

  • Proofread carefully to avoid misspellings, especially on vital words such as job titles or skills. Don’t rely on a spellchecker.
  • Use a standard word format – not every ATS can handle PDFs.
  • Pick out important words from the job ad and use them (and variations of them) in your CV.
  • Use proper capitalisation so groups of words that are related to each other are recognised.
  • Use a standard font in black – Arial, Courier and Tahoma are ideal.
  • Remain consistent when reporting employment history – Company Name, Title, Location, and Date is a standard format.
  • Upload your CV instead of copy and pasting to ensure formatting is kept.
  • Use standard CV headings such as Summary, Work, Skills and Education

Don’ts

  • Use image files in place of text.
  • Use white font to include hidden keywords – some ATSs can see this invisible text and you’ll look like you’re trying to cheat the system.
  • Use unnecessary abbreviations that an ATS might not recognise. When using industry abbreviations, include the spelled-out version of the word in the first instance
  • Use special characters (plain bullet points are ok)
  • Use tables.
  • Put text in the header or footer – it may be ignored.
  • Submit multiple CVs to the same company for the same job – it can look like spam.

Getting your CV past the ATS and into the hands of the hiring manager is only step 1. You’ll still need to make sure your CV is fit for human eyes, and if invited for an interview, you’ll need to impress in person.

About Adzuna

Adzuna is a search engine for job ads used by millions of visitors per month that aims to list every job, everywhere. We search thousands of websites so our users don’t have to, bringing together millions of ads in one place. By providing smarter search options and powerful data about the job market, we give jobseekers the information they need to take control of their careers. Adzuna’s data also powers a number of economic dashboards globally.

Adzuna.co.uk was founded in 2011 by Andrew Hunter and Doug Monro, formerly of eBay, Gumtree, Qype and Zoopla and is backed by leading Venture Capital firms Passion Capital, The Accelerator Group and Index Ventures.

Adzuna’s mission is to be the best place to start looking for a job. We love using the awesome power of technology to help match people to better, more fulfilling jobs and keep employees, companies and countries working well.

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