Eden District Municipality celebrated the graduation of its Tourism Buddies programme, with a total of 232 learners from across the Eden region. The ceremony took place at the George Civic Centre, Western Cape in the presence of the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ms Tokozile Xasa, George Speaker, Cllr Daniël Maritz, and Eden Acting Executive Mayor, Cllr Lionel Esau.
The ceremony started with a Stakeholders’ Breakfast, during which the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ms Tokozile Xasa, engaged with the media and tourism stakeholders, acknowledging Host Employers for their input into the project. A special word of thanks was given to Host Employers who absorbed learners into permanent employment. The formal graduation ceremony then followed, during which learners received their CATHSSETA accredited National Certificate in Accommodation Services NQF Level 2 and National Certificate in Food and Beverages NQF level 4.
The structure of the training is composed of 30% theory and 70% practical training over a period of 12 months, during which learners were placed at various hospitality establishments within the Western Cape Province to gain workplace training. The project has created 128 jobs and thus an overall of 49% gainful employment.
According to the Department of Tourism’s National Tourism Sector Strategy in Cluster 3 under the heading of people development, there is a need to address skills shortages in the tourism sector by training and building capacity of unemployed youth and graduates in especially critical and scares skills in the hospitality industry and tourism services sector. This dovetails with the Department’s Social Responsibility Implementation Expanded Public Works Programme to deliver on its job creation and skills development target.
Deputy Minister Xasa said today the business volume of tourism equals or even surpasses that of oil exports, food products or automobile.
“Tourism has become one of the major players in international commerce, and represents at the same time one of the main income sources for many families in our country. The growth goes hand in hand with an increasing diversification and competition among the products on offer,” said Xasa.
The Deputy Minister encouraged the graduates to be innovative and start up their own business. “It is well known that the tourism industry is very dynamic and run by several skilled entrepreneurs who started off with small businesses. I and my department have cataloged several success stories of young graduates from several of our skills programmes who over the years have gone on to own and manage successful businesses and who themselves employ graduates from our programmes.
Several of our graduates are employed by the big international hospitality institutions.”
The best performing learners were identified and presented with awards together with the Host employers who have permanently absorbed the learners.
Tourism Buddies graduation ceremonies will be held across the province, with a total of 540 learners from across three District municipalities in the Western Cape benefitting.
Mr Trevor Bloem - Chief Director - CommunicationsNational Department of TourismTelephone: +27 (0) 12 444 6607Cell: +27 (0) 82 771 6729Email: firstname.lastname@example.org