The Travel and Tourism Excellence Training Academy, sponsored by Amadeus in partnership with Thebe Tourism, this month saw the launch of its first tourism training programme in rural South Africa.
The academy is running training programmes in Hazyview, Durban and Polokwane for 85 young women and men from previously under-served communities. The training will help them find employment in the areas of hospitality and enterprise development.
The first project kicked off in Hazyview, where 24 promising young ladies enrolled in a 12-month hospitality training programme near the Greater Kruger National Park. Participants will receive a combination of theoretical and practical training that will prepare them for the work environment. Upon completion of their training, they will be employed in a new hotel in Skukuza.
Waldo Adams, Executive Director: Projects at Economic Development Solutions (EDS) and Programme Lead for the Travel and Tourism Excellence Academy, explains it is important to work together with businesses in the area to identify where work opportunities lie, and which skills are required to fill the available roles. “Only then, do we embark on the journey to upskill and train individuals in the area,” he says.
To ensure the unique needs of the rural-based learners are met and that quality and certified standards are delivered, non-profit Good Work Foundation (GWF) is running the programme at its Hazyview Digital Campus, in partnership with the South Africa College of Tourism.
“Our students have jobs waiting for them. In 2020, based on requirements from the industry, we will double the number of students in this programme. The intention is to connect young rural South Africans to the huge opportunities in the growing economy of wildlife,” says Maria Goretti Awogu, GWFs Executive Head of Programmes.
Amadeus and Thebe Tourism Group encourage the industry to further collaborate to fill critical skills gaps, while helping to reduce unemployment among South African youths.
“We are delighted that the first group of students have started their journey and hope they will have prosperous careers in the travel industry. We will continue to share progress on the various ongoing training projects including in Durban and Polokwane,” Adams concludes.