The Department of Tourism took part in the "Take a Girl Child to Work Day" campaign by hosting 28 school learners in the care of Tshwane Child Welfare at a careers expo in Sandton.
The theme for this year's campaign is 'Dream, Believe and Achieve'.
The "Take a Girl Child to Work" campaign is a Cell C initiative that was launched in 2003. The collaboration between Cell C and the Department of Women seeks to advance the empowerment of the girl-child. The campaign is in line with the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals to promote gender equality and empowerment of women.
The Department partnered with the Hilton Hotel's annual Career Expo to showcase tourism and hospitality careers and opportunities. This initiative gives girl learners an opportunity to experience the world of work at first hand, with the hope that this will inspire them to make informed decisions on their future career choices. It also aims to remind girl learners that they have the power to make their dreams come true by believing in themselves.
In his welcoming address, Hilton Hotel General Manager, Gert Venter said that the aim of the day is to equip young people with information about the industry and also showcase available opportunities.
"We have a mandate to create employment for young people and women with the right attitude to ensure a successful career in the tourism industry," he said.
The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Elizabeth Thabethe, welcomed the Department's partnership with Hilton Hotel to expose young people to the hospitality industry.
"There are different roles which ensure that the tourism sector is alive, and having a positive attitude is one of the attributes young people should aim for to ensure a great career in the sector," the Deputy Minister said.
Deputy Minister Thabethe spoke to the youth about the importance of believing in themselves, explaining that the most important contribution they can make to building a healthy society is to build positive values.
"If you continue to take good care of yourselves and work hard at school, then the future of the hospitality sector is in good hands," she said.
The Deputy Minister introduced two learners who would shadow her for the day. The learners had an opportunity to attend meetings with senior officials in the Department.
The excited learners took a tour of the exhibition stalls where they met officials from the Department's training programmes. They received information on a range of training programmes such as the Hospitality Youth Initiative, the Chefs Training Programme, Food Safety Quality Assurers, Wine Service Training (Sommelier) and tourist guiding. They learnt that the Department's training programmes are aimed at giving learners industry accredited qualifications which expose them to the work environment, and prepare them for a career in tourism.
The day ended with a panel discussion in which the learners gave an assessment of the day, and asked pertinent questions relating to career choices and challenges at the workplace. Learners said that they benefited greatly from the day and received information that will be valuable when it comes to choosing careers and subjects for their studies.
Enquiries:Ms. Susan de Bruin – Chief Director: Communications (Acting)Department of TourismTel: +27 12 444 6605Cell: 27 82 921 7303Email: firstname.lastname@example.org