The Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs have facilitated a number of programmes to enhance tourism skills development. These programmes have included the following:
Tourism Ambassador Programme
The programme was initiated in partnership of DETEA with the National Department of Tourism (NDT) and CATHSSETA to enhance skills of youth in the Hospitality industry in the Province through their placement in the following hospitality facilities located in Bloemfontein;
- Emoya Estate
- Ilanga Estate
- President Hotel
- City Lodge
- Road Lodge at the Airport
- Halevy Hotel
The learners develop the requisite skills and experience in the hospitality industry that enhance future employment opportunities and career prospects. The Youth-Learner-Participants in this Tourism Ambassador Programme receive a monthly stipend of R1 500 over a period of a year. Another aspect of this programme involves the provincial Department and the national Department of Tourism facilitating a programme aimed at of tourism skill development through the employment-creation and social responsibility initiative of the Expanded Public Works Programme. This aspect of the programme will focus on 125 youth drawn from the four districts and metropolitan municipality of the Free State.
Hospitality Youth Initiative Programme
The programmes focuses on transfer of hospitality skills to youth to make them employable in the industry. The Youth–Learner- participants in this programme are initially exposed for a period of 3 months to the experiential learning in hospitality enterprises located in Grahamstown. Participants in this programme receive a monthly stipend of R2 000 over a period of 6 months and participating youth will be redeployed in various hospitality enterprises in the Free State for the remaining period of 3 months. The initial intake was 30 learners and FEDHASA and the Department have been involved in a process to lobby the hospitality industry to absorb participating youth permanently on conclusion of the programme.
Training of Chefs Programme
The programmes focuses on the transfer of culinary and food presentation skills to enhance the provincial hospitality industry. Participants in this programme receive a monthly stipend of R2000 over a 9-month period. The initial intake for the programme was 28 youths to acquire and develop appropriate culinary skills and qualification as chefs. The South African Chefs Association (SACA) and the Department have been involved in a process to lobby the hospitality industry to absorb participating youth permanently on conclusion of the programme.
ETEYA (Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award)
This is a programme focused on profiling provincial tourism enterprises to National and International markets. The 2011 ETEYA Provincial winner 2011 was Free State Travel & Tours which is a youth owned and managed outfit that coordinates travel arrangements for a variety of Provincial Departments and entities. Free State Travel & Tours represented the Free State at the ITB held in Germany during March 2012 and will also represent the Province nationally at the Tourism Indaba to be held in Durban in May 2012.
Placement on Provincial Registrar Database of Emerging Tourist Guides
The programme focuses on emerging tourist guides who have undergone necessary prescribed training qualifying them as tourist guides. 12 youths have satisfied requirements for consideration as tourist guides.
Provincial Participation in National Tourism Schools Competition
The Department facilitates the provincial participation in the national competition that focuses on research articles on topical tourism related issues. The schools participated in the competition during 2011 and the Witteberg High School (Bethlehem) was declared the provincial winner. The programme is targeted at exposing youth to opportunities in the tourism sector through allowing them to explore research possibilities in the sector.
National Tourism Career Expo
Focuses on exposing learners to opportunities in tourism through facilitating the participation of 30 provincial learners at the National Tourism Career Expo held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre in Durban in 2011.
Several training initiatives were facilitated during 2011.