Tourism Boot Camp aims to bridge the skills gap for unemployed youth through skills transfer andindustry placement.
South Africa has over 60% youth unemployment, yet the tourism sector is struggling to find capable travel professionals to service this growing and essential sector of the economy.This untenable situation is being addressed by Pieter Geldenhuys, founder of PG TOPS Travel and Tours. The boutique operator has been operating in Cape Town since 2008 and has successfully trained numerous young people who had no industry experience prior to joining PG TOPS Travel and Tours.
Pieter has translated this model into Tourism Boot Camp, a social initiative aiming to upskill unemployed tourism graduates. During the program they are armed with the final practical requirements to get them closer to gainful employment. Disillusioned job seekers, new entrants and candidates lost to industry will be given the necessary skills during a grueling four-week practical course at the PG TOPS office. They will then be placed with industry partners for medium-term paid internships, with the prospect of long-term employment.
Tourism Boot Camp follows a week-by-week format, where candidates need to successfully pass the weekly assessment in order to proceed to the next week.
The format is as follows:
- WEEK 1: Cape Town Tours & Logistics training
Principles of consulting and framework discussions. Product training for: Cape Town City Centre Tour, Cape Peninsula Tour, Cape Winelands, Township Tour,Cape Canopy Tour,Whale watching Tourand CPT Safari options.
- WEEK 2: Front of House, Oral Presentation skills, Attentive Listening, Critical Thinking Skills
The candidates are trained on presenting a real-time consultant and dealing with difficult customers.
- WEEK 3: Technical Skills, Costings, Bespoke Consulting
Excel spreadsheet training to include multiple day tour costing. Word and email formulation for professional consults.
- WEEK 4: Educationals & Site Visits
V&A Waterfront orientation, Two Oceans Aquarium, Table Mountain Cableway, Cape Point, Cape Winelands and Whale watching trips are undertaken in the final week.
- WEEK 5-6: In-industry placement
Industry support to date has been instrumental to the success of the initiative. From partners who give on their time to deliver the course content to the attractions that comp entrance fees. A special thank you to the following partners:
V&A Waterfront, Wesgro, Marine Dynamics, Cape Town Tour Guide, Dirty Boots, Earthstompers, Two Oceans Aquarium, Table Mountain Cableway, Tsogo Sun, Bikes&Wines, Jordaan Wines, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Point Funicular and Giltedge.