Tourism graduates urged to empower themselves

Tourism Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe has urged graduates of a government funded programme to use the skills obtained in the course to empower themselves.

Thabethe made the remark on Friday in the Free State while officiating the graduation ceremony of 96 learners, who successfully completed the department’s Hospitality Youth Training Programme.

The graduation was held at the iconic Naval Planetarium in Bloemfontein. The learners from Xhariep and Thaba Nchu received NQF level 2 and 4 qualifications in Accommodation, Food and Beverage Services.

The Tourism Department approved a budget of R4 million to capacitate 100 leaners from the Free State under its Hospitality Youth Training Programme. Learners, who successfully completed the 12-month, course received CATHSSETTA accredited NQF level 2 certificates in Accommodation Services, and NQF Level 4 certificates in Food and Beverage Services. More than 500 learners have graduated from the programme in the 2018/19 financial year.

Thabethe applauded the graduates for taking advantage of the learning opportunities presented by democracy and reminded them to play an active part in building a better country.

“Today, we acknowledge your accomplishment in seeking opportunities to empower yourselves to enter the workplace. Your efforts are not only a reflection of your will to succeed – they are an affirmation of your active participation in building a better country.

“This year, we are celebrating 25 years of democracy. I urge you to continue to look for opportunities to empower yourselves beyond this point, so that your families and communities can share in the greater benefits gained from freedom,” said Thabethe.

Speaking on behalf of the graduates, Zenith van Wyk expressed her joy in being afforded the opportunity to participate in the Hospitality Training programme, as it broadened her perspective on the multiple career paths in the tourism industry.

“We have learnt from the Hospitality Training Programme about the importance of service excellence and professionalism in the tourism industry. The practical training opened our eyes to the vast range of career opportunities that we can pursue beyond our current qualification.

“With a little hard work and dedication, we will make a difference in the tourism industry in our province,” said Van Wyk.

For more information on the skills development programmes implemented by the Department of Tourism for the youth, visit www.tourism.gov.za.

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