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Speech by the Deputy Minister of Tourism Hon Fish Mahlalela on the occasion of National Tourism Career Expo media launch, Potchefstroom
Speech by the Deputy Minister of Tourism Hon Fish Mahlalela on the occasion of National Tourism Career Expo media launch
MEC of Economic Development, Environment, Conservation and Tourism, Han Keneetswe Mosenogi
Executive Mayor of Kenneth Kaunda Distric Municipality Cllr Barei Segotso Mosiane
Executive Mayor of JB Marks Local Municipality Cllr Kgotso Khumalo
HOD of the Department of Economic Development, Environment, Conservation and Tourism and the team CEO of CATHS-SETA and the team
Members of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen

Programme Director, today we launch the National Tourism Careers Expo 2019. (NTCE). The Career Expo is on its 11th year this year. It is hosted for three years in every hosting province, and this year marks the 2nd year version of the event in North West Province. We are happy as government for the journey travelled so far, as the impact of the National Tourism Career Expo is so visible in our skills audit and employment absorption in various industries of the tourism sector.

This year National Tourism Career Expo's theme, "Broadening Your Horizons Through Tourism Opportunities" speaks directly to the expectations of World Tourism Organisation in their conceptualisation of international Tourism Month, of which in South Africa will be celebrated under the theme "Tourism and jobs - a better future for all"

Tourism Opportunities and job creation are interlinked processes, and at the centre of these processes is the skills revolution.

Of significance and very fulfilling is that these two major events, The National Tourism Career Expo and the Tourism Day, both happen in the month of September, a Tourism Month.

Since time immemorial, people have been gathering in Expos to exchange goods, services and information. A by-product of these interactions between people, who often travel long distances to visit these Expos was dialogue, an exchange of skills and knowledge, and an interaction between cultures.

This is the tradition from which the World Expos originate. Since London's Great International Exposition in 1851, World Expo's have seen the unveiling of new ideas and have been a platform to showcase what people have to offer.

The National Tourism Career Expo is such one of the most progressive Expos ever held in our country. It focuses on the most fundamental aspect of a national challenge: the skills development.

As part of the seven priorities announced by the President in his State of the Nation Address, Education and Skills development is the core mandate of this sixth administration. It is therefore without a doubt that the National Tourism Career Expo is one of the platforms to advance the skills revolution.

The NTCE represents ideas, initiatives and active engagement between learners, educators, curriculum developers, government and the private sector, who share the common goal of taking skills development in tourism to the next level.

The youth as the primary target group for the National Tourism Career Expo are those in high schools from grade 9 to 12, and TVET College learners, university students and unemployed tourism graduates or out of school young people.

The Career Expo talks to the needs of this primary target when we promote tourism (inclusive of hospitality, travel, conservation, aviation, sports and other related sectors as a career, profession and business entrepreneurship of choice.

Young people would actually benefit from this Career Expo through various interactive platforms that include the industry speakers' platform where engagement with young people takes place on what the industry is all about and what is it that it has to offer.

The interactive exhibition platforms are central part of the Expo as well. It is precisely for this reason that the industry stakeholders are so important to be part of the National Tourism Career Expo in that young people get the necessary exposure and information on who and what is this industry all about, from cooperate point of view.

In that way they are enabled to make informed decisions to continue studying tourism as well as committing themselves to a profession in the industry. Their commitment to serve in the industry should not happen by default as it happens with most people choosing careers contrary to their potential, simply because of lack of information.

It must be by design that a young person decides to take tourism as a career and profession because of exposure to industry and opportunities that exist.

That will ensure that we attract the right people for the right job at the right time. This will then enhance our service excellence from a position of skills and positive attitude informed by the urge and passion to work in this industry.

In a nutshell the NTCE actually saves young people from making uninformed career choices and lend themselves in the industry unprepared.

It however presents them with exciting opportunities that exist and they therefore get spoilt for choice in various industries of the tourism sector.

Our tourism sector has been undergoing changes brought about by the evolution of Internet and digital media. In particular, new communication and media technologies are rapidly transforming the way we source, pay for and share our travel experiences.

Against this backdrop, this Expo presents a very useful platform for all of us to breed and share ideas, identify skills gaps and create more interventions brought about by the 4th industrial revolution.

The skills revolution remains the key part of the work of government and we look forward to the exciting National Tourism Career Expo 2019 in North West Province.

Programme Director, Let me quote a renowned author, John Ruskin, when he says "Skill is the unified force of experience, intellect and passion in their operation"

It is indeed these intellect and passion from young people that we want to unleash to the tourism sector as a whole.

I wish to congratulate the National Department of Tourism, North West Provincial Department of Tourism under MEC Mosenogi, CATHSSETA and all partners involved in the organisation of the National Tourism Career Expo for the good job well done so far, and we are looking forward to the Expo on the 19th to 21st September 2019.

I Thank You!