Absa contributes towards tourism skills development of youth

5 September 2014

Absa has invested R1,6 million in the SA College for Tourism in Graaff-Reinet to empower 90 young marginalised women and 16 young men with employability and financial literacy skills which will further their careers in the hospitality and tourism industry.
Gideon Serfontein, Head of Citizenship at Barclays Africa, says: “Citizenship is a critical part of becoming the ‘Go-To’ bank for all our stakeholders, this means we can serve as an enabler for greater, inclusive prosperity for current and future generations. This is the twelfth year that we are supporting the SA College for Tourism's hospitality services and operations training. We are proud to be able to contribute towards the development and growth of young women and men who will enter the tourism sector with confidence and create unique South African experiences for tourists, both local and international. This investment comes at the right time as the country celebrates tourism month.”
André Kilian, Executive Director of the SA College for Tourism, says: “It is very gratifying to know that Absa continues to consider the college as a worthy recipient of its support. We are thankful and proud to say that Absa is the college’s largest corporate donor, without whose investment in the students, being trained at the college, would not be able to continue its work in the interest of many young women and men passionate about the tourism and hospitality industry.”
In 2011 the college was recognised for excellence and best practices by Culture Arts Tourism Hospitality Sports Sector Education and Training Authority and is viewed as being a strategic training partner for the tourism industry in South Africa.
Mr Thembi Klaas, Public Sector Head, Absa Eastern Cape (left) and Mr Andy de la Mare, Absa Corporate Social Investment Manager, Absa Eastern Cape (front) with the hospitality students
Mr Thembi Klaas, Public Sector Head, Absa Eastern Cape (left) and Mr Andy de la Mare, Absa Corporate Social Investment Manager, Absa Eastern Cape (front) with the hospitality students
The year-long programme that Absa supports offers an incentive for two promising students who are selected at the end of each year to go to Italy for four months where they are exposed to experiential learning and international hospitality delivery.
With the support of the Peace Parks Foundation, these young women and men will be given the opportunity to be placed in internships and permanent employment after they achieve certification. The women in hospitality services will be certified by the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein and SA Education and Training Authorities and the men training as trackers and field guides will be certified through a National Skills Development course in Tracking and will also receive a Field Guides of South Africa certificate.

For further information, please contact:
Cathy Schwarz
Communication Manager Absa Group Communications, Eastern and Southern Cape
Cell: +27 82 452 8246

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