Whether this is attainable or not, is a subject for another day.
However, the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (FEDHASA) today took the baton and ran with it following the launch of exciting and unique Food Safety Programme in the country.
The programme intends to create an estimated 500 permanent jobs for youth’s within the industry in the space of five-years’ -through Fedhasa’s ‘Youth Chapter’ – started in 2010 as part of job creation lever projects.
Three identified Provinces namely Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KZN will kick-start this pilot programme. Pilot because by the end of the year, this would have penetrated all remaining parts of the country.
This is a 12-months intensive and vigorous programme and successful students will receive stipend.
Training will be conducted at Further Education and Training Colleges (FET) and will target graduates from those FET’s.
Food Safety Programme is a partnership between the organization, its members and the National Department of Tourism.
Due to stringent regulations on both health and food laws, various precautionary measures will be followed since this is the first in the hospitality industry.
Although its core mandate is to cater for businesses, Fedhasa’s chairman Eddy Khosa said creation of jobs, particularly youth’s is everyone’s business.
“We believe this programme will deliver sustainable jobs to youth’s; jobs that are brand new in the industry and do not replace any existing positions which is an extremely important step forward for the sub-economic sector of responsible tourism.
“Such initiatives will go a long way towards encouraging the youth to consider the tourism industry as a career and more specifically responsible tourism as the way of the future.”
The Minister of Tourism Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, has and still encourages youth’s to consider tourism because of opportunities it represents within the market, this follows news that in 2013 in the first six months tourist arrivals were up by 5.1% on the same year as 2012.
Although Khosa was non-committal on youth’s contribution into the GDP of the country, stats reveal that close 70% are active in the emancipation of the economy.
Caleb Mabaso, Fedhasa’s head of Strategic Projects says the future of hospitality and tourism in SA depends on a strong talent pipeline of young, hungry, educated people within the industry who will continue the legacy of responsible tourism in the country.
This augurs well for the economy which is already facing the burden, owing amongst others, below par education system, drop-outs, etc.
Upon completion of the programme students will qualify as Food Service Assistants and receive certificates and manuals.
A newly established South African Youth in Travel and Tourism, a representative from United Nations World Tourism and other key stakeholders were present.