Mahlalela calls for multi-sector partnerships to help up-skill youth in tourism

Mahlalela calls for multi-sector partnerships to help up-skill youth in tourism

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Fish Mahlalela has called for multi-sector partnerships in fast-tracking economic growth, and in creating the much-needed opportunities for the youth in tourism.

The Minister was speaking during the graduation ceremony in Kruger National Park (KNP) on Tuesday, where hundred and six youth from Limpopo and Mpumalanga who successfully completed their certification under the Tourism Monitors Training Programme, were honoured by the Department of Tourism in conjunction with South African National Parks (SANParks).

“Our collaboration with SANParks has been impactful. Not only has it amassed benefits for the conservation community, but it has offered a lifeline to the youth in the communities that border our national parks. Multi-sector partnerships are critical and will continue to play a key role in sustaining tourism and our overall economy,” said Deputy Minister Mahlalela.

The group will add as an extension of the critical services that are provided by various cross-cutting sectors of the tourism economy that contribute to tourist safety, and an enhanced visitor experience. They received CATHSSETA accredited (NQF level 2-4) National Certificates in categories namely: occupationally directed education training and development practices, tourist guiding, project management, nature conservation and new venture creation.

The Tourism Monitors Training Programme is part of a greater objective of the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) to ensure an adequately skilled and professional tourism workforce that is able to deliver a world-class visitor experience.

In 2019, the Department entered into a three-year agreement with SANParks to implement the Tourism Monitors Programme. Learners were placed in all the 21 national parks in South Africa, including the Kruger National Park (KNP), to gain theoretical and workplace training.

KNP Managing Executive, Oscar Mthimkhulu said that the collaboration was an investment in the youth who will safeguard our natural resources for the benefit of generations to come.  

“Out of the 259 youth who enrolled for the Tourism Monitors programme, SANParks has employed 130 at all its 21 national parks. This makes us extremely proud of our contribution to youth empowerment, but mostly in our efforts to usher in a new understanding on the importance of conservation, and the overall functioning of our national parks,” said Mthimkhulu.