Hospitality training on the government agendaMarch 8th, 2011 by H&R | Categories: Uncategorized
Following the launch of the National Youth Chefs Training Programme in Johannesburg on 24 February 2011 by minister of tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk, the deputy minister of tourism Tokozile Xasa has launched the Hospitality Youth Initiative today in Bathurst in the Eastern Cape.
Xasa says: “Government cannot do it alone. Amongst government’s key efforts in working with business on this task are youth empowering programmes targeting youth in all rural wards of South Africa”.
The Hospitality Youth Initiative (HYI) is aimed at helping unemployed youth to find meaningful employment in the hospitality industry at entry level. The programme targets unemployed youth between the ages of 18 and 35 years of age, who have a Matric qualification. Three hundred unemployed youth will benefit from this programme.
Xasa adds: “Tourism has been positioned as one of the key economic drivers in South Africa with a view to address unemployment and poverty. The new growth path also expects the tourism sector to create 225 000 jobs and the HYI initiative will also play a critical role in this regard.”
The National Department of Tourism has set aside a budget of R8-million under the auspices of its Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) to fund this training programme and has entered into an agreement with the Hospitality Youth Initiative, a section 21 Company, to conduct the training. This section 21 company has been training young people in the hospitality sector for the past eight years.
The beneficiaries will be trained on the soft skills which are very crucial at any frontline point in any tourism establishment. The tourism service excellence strategy also expects the sector to create a culture of customer service in the industry to deliver a pleasant and memorable experience for customers.
The project is currently taking on 300 unemployed youth in a pilot phase that started in November 2010. The provincial breakdown allocation is staggered based on availability of placement facilities and highest potential for full time absorption in employment. This is as follows: Gauteng: 90; KwaZulu Natal: 50; Western Cape: 50; Limpopo: 20; Eastern Cape: 30; Mpumalanga: 20; Free State: 20; Northern Cape: 10; and North West: 10.
The programme is divided into two phases: the first phase sees learners undergo one-month of intensive training that forms part of their theoretical learning and entry into the hospitality industry. Their training focuses on communication, life skills, customer care, HIV/AIDS as well as leadership.
Upon completion of the first phase, the learners are then placed in tourism establishments where they will receive on the job training with internationally accepted standards as laid down by the hospitality Industry. At the end of the training, beneficiaries will be awarded a certificate of competency and some of them may be absorbed by the hospitality establishments.
“It is therefore a great honour and pleasure to launch another initiative that is aimed at contributing towards skills development and creation of job opportunities as we strive to grow the industry and make a meaningful contribution to economic growth,” concludes Xasa.