South African Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe had officiated the Hospitality Youth Training Programme (HYTP) graduation ceremony of 83 learners in New Brighton in the Port Elizabeth province of the country. The programme, endorsed by the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality, Sports Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA), is part of the Department of Tourism’s Human Resources Skills Development initiative, aimed at training unemployed youth in Food and Beverage as well as Accommodation Services.
The duration of the HYTP is 12 months, consisting of 30% of theory studies and 70% of practical lessons where learners are placed at various hospitality establishments for experiential learning. Learners were introduced to the fundamentals, core and elective unit standards covered in Food and Beverage, as well as Accommodation Services learning programmes.
“We have invested over R5 million for the training of unemployed youth in the Eastern Cape because we have a responsibility to empower people as government,” said Deputy Minister Thabethe. “We call upon you graduates to be change agents in your families. Use the skills we have empowered you with to improve the quality of lives in your homes and communities, and assist us as government to eradicate poverty”, appealed the Deputy Minister.
Addressing the graduates, the Executive Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Councillor Athol Trollip impressed upon the ambassadorial responsibility that young people must carry on as representatives of their cities and country. He further acknowledged the role played by the Department of Tourism in changing the lives of young people through skills development.
“Our city is faced with almost 50% of unemployment. So any opportunity given to young people is a step in the right direction. We commend the role that the Department of Tourism has played in skilling our young people and we are confident that they will represent us well”, said Councillor Trollip.
Speaking on behalf of the host employers, Protea Hotel’s Gerald Baskiti encouraged graduates to look beyond job seeking and aspire to become job creators, in order to curb the scourge of unemployment in the country.
Learners were recruited from the Buffalo City Municipality in East London and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality in Port Elizabeth. The ceremony was followed by an imbizo, where Deputy Minister Thabethe engaged with the community of New Brighton on the department’s programmes and initiatives that the public can tap into. These include Enterprise Development Programme, Service Excellence, Skills Development and Tourism Human Resources Development Strategy, and Women in Tourism; all these being initiatives
that can help achieve sustainable tourism development and inclusive growth in the sector.