More than 200 young people from the mining communities of Mogalakwena, Kathu and Postmasburg have secured jobs in the tourism and hospitality sector, thanks to a training programme run by Anglo American Zimele and development specialists Summit – and there’s more to come.
The 214 newly employed youth were part of an initial cohort of 400 recruited for the pilot phase of the programme. Efforts are currently under way to place the remaining candidates, and the programme has been so successful that it is to be expanded to include another 3 000 youth from Anglo American’s host communities, over the next three years.
“It’s not enough to simply give young people skills: they need jobs and skills that are relevant and adaptive to a changing world. We see the sector as an important source of youth jobs as we try to improve the livelihoods of young people living in Anglo American’s host communities by giving them training and employment opportunities,” said Larisha Naidoo, Head of Anglo American Zimele.
The programme sees candidates receiving comprehensive training in various skills within the sector. The programme offers targeted skills programmes in Hospitality and Tourism, with a special element that includes recruitment, work integrated learning. Work-integrated learning provides students with the opportunity to apply their learning from academic studies to relevant experiences and reciprocate learning back to their studies. We have seen that this process makes finding a job a lot more accessible as the candidates’ competencies and work experiences increases.
The pilot project started in March 2020, but was delayed due to the pandemic. A blended delivery model was implemented in June, with a blended learning approach taking place on the learning experience digital platform. Candidates were given zero rated data sim cards and smart devices to access the learning platform, and competence assessments and exams were completed by the end of November. The pandemic has forced us to move into a digital learning platform and we have seen both interesting results and valuable lessons learnt. Zimele in collaboration with Summit is proud that we were able to place youth into targeted jobs because of the specific skilling programmes in our host communities.
“I really enjoyed the course as it helped spark my interest in tourism and hospitality and realized that this is the industry I would want to be in. The knowledge and skills I received influenced my decision to further my studies,” said Candy Bosman, from Kathu in the Northern Cape, one of the candidates that completed her accommodation service skills programme.
Candy used her assistant housekeeping certificate to pursue a diploma in hospitality management at the International Hotel School, through a bursary sponsored by Summit.
In the next phase of the programme, 3 000 learners from communities around Anglo American’s mining operations will be trained over the next three years.