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Students Nurtured For Tourism Industry

Pleasing results for Joburg Tourism Company's youth development program

Sep 01, 2011

On Friday, September 2, 2011, Johannesburg Tourism Company (JTC) will be celebrating alongside four students whom they have nurtured since high school, when they graduate from the International Hotel School’s START (Skills Tasks & Results Training) program.

“We are so impressed with the results achieved with this particular group of students and the success of not only the individuals themselves, but also the way our partnerships with various private institutions have prospered and benefited the students,” explained Lindiwe Kwele. The group is now also benefiting from a six-month internship with the City Lodge Group, augmenting the initial exposure and training facilitated by JTC.

JTC partnered with the International Hotel School and KWV to extend the training and development of seven promising tourism students, first identified when they were still at high school in Alex more than 18 months ago. Kicking off in September 2009, senior high school students from Merniva High School and the Kwa Bhekilanga Secondary School in Alex – and with an interest in following a career path in tourism – were invited to participate in the program. Ten students in grade 11 and 12, who were studying tourism as a major subject, were selected, having undergone a rigorous interview process with all stakeholders.

Their three-month training and orientation included tour guiding and site tour training, involving both theoretical and practical work. Together with the Gauteng Tourism Authority, the JTC spearheaded the initiative, in line with its mission to achieve shared and sustainable economic growth in the city, along with transformation of the tourism sector. The project also supports the Responsible Tourism Guidelines as outlined by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). These include economic generation for local communities, meaningful connections with locals, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social, and environmental issues.

For the duration of the Football for Hope Festival*, (which took place in Alexandra** from July 3-10, 2010), these learners then put their skills as tour guides into practice, sharing their knowledge with visitors about places of interest in their township, the host destination.

Fourteen months on, the students have completed first-aid training, in-service training at Emperors’ Palace, and completed the Skills, Tasks and Result Training (START) – a six-month training program that is offered by IHS and was funded partly by KWV and Gauteng Tourism Authority. The two students funded by KWV were flown to Cape Town in January 2011 to participate in an induction program before the START program commenced.

“When we embarked on this collaborative initiative, we were very excited by the potential, far-reaching possibilities for these youngsters,” said Lindiwe Kwele, CEO of Joburg Tourism. “However, we are so encouraged by the fact that we have managed to sustain the momentum on this project and taken it much further than initially anticipated or dreamed of. We are supremely grateful to our industry partners for their support and trust that this will lead to more future collaborative initiatives in training and job creation,” said Kwele.

In terms of the recently-launched Mayoral Outreach campaign to discuss Johannesburg’s Growth and Development Strategy 2040 ( ), tourism remains a significant economic growth imperative on the city’s agenda. It is an important catalyst to encourage not only the development of the SMME sector, but also in terms of job creation, contributing to economic growth, development, transformation, and redistribution.

Johannesburg Tourism is a member of the target="_blank">International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP).

Pleasing results for Joburg Tourism Company's youth development program
Johannesburg / Image via


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