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Keynote address by Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe at Umzimkhule Careers Expo and Skills Development Expo
Keynote address by Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe at Umzimkhule Careers Expo and Skills Development Expo
Ayeye Umzimkhulu Careers Expo Ayeye!
Ayeye Tourism Ayeye.  

Programme Director
Learners and Students
Ladies and Gentlemen

It gives me great pleasure to participate in this careers expo today.  The youth of today are our future and as a country, we need to constantly empower and expose you to opportunities that will help transform your lives, families and communities you live in.

Programme Director, tourism is one of the key economic drivers aimed at eradicating poverty through job creation and provision of entrepreneurial opportunities. South Africa hopes to create 11 million jobs by 2030. Our vision as tourism is to grow responsible tourism and deliver memorable experiences to all our visitors and sustainable benefits for all South Africans

Tourism starts with booking a trip with a travel agency when you want to visit a particular destination. Let’s say a tourist from another province wants to visit Durban. We all know that Durban and KZN as a whole are one of the best tourist hotspots in South Africa. The tourist/traveller will book accommodation and a flight through a travel agency, which has employment opportunities such as travel consultants who will assist travellers with their bookings.  Upon arrival in Durban, the traveller has a choice of either hiring a car or being dropped off by a shuttle at a hotel or Bed and Breakfast. Within the car hire industry, there are employment opportunities such as car rental consultants and other related jobs.  

When the traveller arrives at the hotel, they are welcomed by front line staff or receptionists who ensure that they are settled in the hotel. Then, the traveller needs to eat.  We have chefs in the kitchens who will prepare delicious and scrumptious cuisines for our guests. The following day, the traveller wants to visit a place of interest in Durban.  We have tour operators and tour guides who will teach them about the history and attractions of the area and let them enjoy the experience of the destination. 

Ladies and gentlemen, the tourism sector requires people with appropriate skills. My department has finalised a Tourism Human Resource Development Strategy which has highlighted priority areas that our training should focus on. The training programmes that we offer are Food Safety, Hospitality, Chefs and Sommeliers. 

Food safety is a scientific discipline aimed at handling, preparing, and storing food in ways that prevent foodborne illnesses. This includes a number of routines that should be followed to avoid potentially severe health hazards. Food safety is an apprenticeship programme.  Graduates are trained for theory which consist of 10% and 90% is practical training. They are placed in the workplaces working closely with the Chefs. 

The Hospitality Service Training Programme is an experiential hospitality training programme targeting unemployed youth of South Africa as part of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). The programme covers classroom (30%) and workplace (70%) training leading to the attainment of an accredited full qualification. Learners are trained in either one of the following qualification:

National Certificate Food and beverage NQF4
National Certificate Accommodation Services NQF2
National Certificate in Fast Food Services NQF3

National Youth Chefs, in their first year, learners are trained in a National Certificate in Professional Cookery NQF level 3. In their second year, they advance to Diploma for Professional Cookery NQF level 5 and in their third year, they specialize in either Pastry or Cuisine. Learners are trained in 20% theory and 80% practical work and they are placed in the workplace to acquire the relevant skills. 

The sommelier programme assists learners to understand the wine environment and pairing of food and wine. Learners are placed in wine farms and hotels that specialize in wine services. This training is structured as a learnership programme wherein enrolled learners will be trained 30% in theory and 70% practical training. 

The department is targeting unemployed youth and graduates and the minimum entry requirement into these programmes is matric certification. After training, some students are able to get work in establishments where they would have been placed for their practical work. Information on these programmes can be found on our website but we also send information to rural areas through local government.  I therefore urge you to visit your local municipalities for information on any government training opportunities.

These opportunities include bursaries to those who wish to further their studies and these are advertised in newspapers. Such information or adverts are placed in newspapers and can be accessed through your library. To those who have completed their tertiary studies, government offers internships programmes on various fields of study, where you are given experiential learning. 

Bantwana bam, do you know that tourism hosts what we call the National Tourism Careers Expo every year?  This National Tourism Careers expo, just like the uMzimkhulu careers and skills development expo today, provides an opportunity for you to interact with potential employers as well as to access information on various careers and bursaries available.  Please use this expo to get as much information on what the job market needs.  The 2017 National Tourism Careers Expo will be held in the Free State from 29 September to 01 October. 

We all know that uMzimkhulu is very rural area and with limited resources. Bantwana bam, do not ever give up on yourselves no matter your circumstances. Behind every human effort lies a hope for success and you will advance in life through hard work. Use the available resources you can lay your hands on (like this careers expo today, your libraries and municipalities) to develop your talents and skills, as this will lead you to greater heights in life.

I thank you.