Unemployed Free State youth get a foot in tourism business

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Pretoria - The lives of 100 unemployed youths from the Free State are set to change for the better after being inducted into the tourism industry. 

The youngsters were trained by Golden Gate Highlands National Park (GGHNP) to become ‘tourism buddies’. They received their certificates this week to recognise the hard work they put into their 12-month training.

The tourism buddies programme was initiated by the national Department of Tourism and facilitated by the Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs in the province. The initiative is another way of curbing the skills shortage and high unemployment rate, particularly in the tourism sector.

The training consisted of 30% theory and 70% practical training, where the learners were placed in various hospitality establishments, including at Golden Gate. The training and qualification is fully accredited by

About 80 of the 100 leaners from the Free State received qualifications which are fully accredited by the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA).

The qualifications include the National Certificate on Food and Beverages (NQF Level 4) and National Certificate on Accommodation Services (NQF Level 2).

Golden Gate hosted a large number of learners due to its proximity to the town of Clarens, which needs to develop a lot of previously disadvantaged people in the tourism sector.

“Tourism does not only provide employment opportunities but encourages people to become entrepreneurs as well,” said Tourism Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe, who was at the ceremony where the trainees received their certificates.

Deputy Minister Thabethe thanked all the partners for the role they played in the programme.

“The success of this project was dependent on our collaborative approach and partnerships to harness the sensible use of resources and pragmatic planning, as outlined in the National Tourism Sector Strategy. Your support and contribution was immeasurable.” – SAnews.gov.za

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