Tourism Boot Camp 4.0 has seen one of the strongest groups yet. We are very pleased with the progress shown as we refine the industry readiness program.
It has been a busy few weeks at the PG TOPS group, but we kinda made it work. Imagine the following obstacles in our way these last three weeks:
The lack of a dedicated project manager to the Boot Camp, with Lauren-Lee Isaacs ably stepping in to help while also fulfilling her normal duties. PG handled most of the week 1 logistics training, with Zile de Kock, as always, helping out on Sharks and Whale Watching training. We love you Marine Dynamics.
PG off at the SATSA conference on front-of-house week 2, shaking hands and kissing babies (which is important), but back at Boot Camp the hard yards were fulfilled by Lauren, ace Boot Camp alumni Khunji and visiting industry exec from Tsogo Sun Yolande West.
Then we hit week 3 – technical. Chrissy Human managed to shepherd the interns along with limited resources (we moved offices that week and had to shove Boot Camp into the garage). Luckily, Chrissy found a clever solution, and took the crowd on a wine tour on day 3 to Morgenster instead and completed the training at the Earthstompers office.
Since we are super busy next week and have run out of vehicles to take the interns on much needed practical tour exposure, we shifted the Peninsula and winelands excursions to this week. Nicole van Heerden has again volunteered to take them out to experience first hand what our guests expect, including visits to Jordan, Spice Route, the Cape of Good Hope and of course the Penguins.
The cream rises to the surface. We are quite proud that this group will go places, and we are looking for intern placements for them starting 7 August 2018. Please contact Lauren-Lee at email@example.com if you would like to get involved with this amazing project!
TOURISM BOOT CAMP 4.0 kicks off 16 July! We have a strong field of applicants ready and raring to go about getting their launchpad in the South African tourism industry. It’s a tough course, there will be plenty of tests and a few will drop out, but there will also be plenty of fun, some exciting new experiences and, most importantly, plenty of vital practical up-skilling that will set them on the path to success. Lauren-Lee Isaacs is relishing her new role as project coordinator, and we are excited to go on this journey again. So, without further ado, here’s the new crew:
Dipakeng resides in Summer Greens and has previously studied tourism at Ekurhuleni East College for FET as well as hospitality at the Hospitality Academy. Training:
She has previous training on Microsoft office and her work experience includes being an intern at Lapen Village Guest House, banqueting at The Lakes Hotel & Conference Centre and passenger handling at Swiss Port SA O.R Tambo Airport. Outlook:
Very determined to make a success of her life and is always up for a challenge.
Background: Erica lives in Mannenberg, is divorced and has one child. She studied at PC Training and Business College and has a cultural guide certificate and badge as well as level 1 first aid training. Training: Her employment history includes Two Oceans Aquarium as a visitor assistant, Table Mountain Aerial Cable Way as a ticket officer and the Castle of Good Hope as a site guide. Outlook: Loves interacting with people from all walks of life. Her motto is; Determination and hard work are the key elements of making a success of yourself.
Phelokazi lives in Woodstock and has a National Diploma in Tourism which she completed at Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Training: Her work experience includes working at the front desk of the World Travel Market with Reed Travel Exhibition. Outlook: She has a lovely nature and an open presence about her. Her hobbies include soccer and netball and she also loves reading in her spare time.
Background: Halyley stays in Belhar and is currently finishing off her studies at Northlink College. She is now required to do an 18-month internship to complete her tourism course to be eligible to graduate. Training: She hasn’t had any previous work experience in the industry, but she has the theory behind her and did well on the technical assessment. Outlook: Hayley feels like TBC would give her the push she needs into the industry and would also accept a non-paying internship, if given the opportunity. She has a lovely open nature.
Background: Siphosethu stays in Khayelitsha and completed his National Diploma in Tourism level 1 and 2 at Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Training: He has previous work experience but not in the tourism industry. Outlook: Siphosethu has good written skills, loves coming up with new ideas and would like to become an entrepreneur. Young and presentable, he just needs a chance.
Justine lives in Retreat. Fun Fact: She is a dancer and her dance company was recently featured on Expresso! Training: She obtained her N5 tourism certificate at False Bay College which she just completed, so requires an internship to gain access into the industry. Outlook: Very fresh faced and has a professional nature about her. She wants to be a flight attendant but is still too young. She is well spoken, well written and is looking for an opportunity to shine.
Background: Sisanda is originally from Port Elizabeth but relocated to Cape Town and now stays in Strand, Cape Town. Training: She completed her Tourism Studies at Port Elizabeth College last year but is still required to do an 18-month internship to be eligible for graduation. She also completed an Aviation Course at Cranfield Aviation Training. Outlook: Sisanda is shy and quiet and needs a chance to show what she’s got.
Zeenat lives in Belhar and has a Bachelor of Arts in Tourism and History which she obtained at the University of the Western Cape in 2016. Training: Her work experience includes being a mark checker at the Education Department as well as a freelance writer for Livingstone Research. She has good written communication and good Excel skills. Presentable and very professional. Outlook: She wants to own her own business one day.
Originally from Eastern Cape, Ziyanda now lives with a friend in Kuilsriver, Cape Town. She completed her certificate in Tourism in 2016 at South Cape TVET College in Oudtshoorn. She was introduced to us by Tourism Boot Camp graduate, Khunji Sebeta. Training: Ziyanda’s work experience includes being a sales assistance at Agri Land SSK and an information officer at the Oudtshoorn Tourism Office. Outlook: Ziyanda is very well spoken and has a bubbly energy about her which is why we think she is well suited to the industry.
Now in the final week of Boot Camp 3.0 the successful candidates are undertaking their 2-week practical job shadowing at our Industry Partners.
Salty Crax has placed Nosie Nyeka in a reception position at their Backpackers. She messaged to let us know that everything is going very well and that she is even helping out in the finance department with the invoices. She says the best part of her experience so far has been the opportunity to live-in at the premises which affords her the opportunity to experience all aspects of the establishment and make new friends from all over the world.
Two Oceans Aquarium kindly offered Una Jackson a 2-week job shadowing opportunity to learn all the front of house aspects of this popular attraction. She will get the opportunity to experience what happens in various areas and gain valuable information and knowledge from their friendly team. They sometimes throw me in the deepend( no pun intended) she commented.
Baxolise is learning the ropes at Once In Cape Town, where she is being trained by one of the Tourism Boot Camp 2.0 candidates , Kamva Delvine. She has been exposed to back office reservation duties as well as front of house and customer facing duties. ” It is really fun here” Lise commeted earlier this week.
Applications are open for the next Tourism Boot Camp which kicks off on 16 July 2018. Apply now to fast track your career in the Tourism Industry.
An exciting final week of educationals and oral presentations resulted in three candidates graduating from Tourism Boot Camp last week.
Congratulations to Baxolise Marhasha, Nosiphelo Nyeka and Una Jackson who start their two week practical orientation at Industry partners this week. Do us proud!
Thank you to Nicole Van Heerden who generously gave of her time to guide the Boot Campers around the Cape Wonelands and the Cape Peninsula Educationals.
During the Winelands trip they visited the picturesque towns of Stellenbosch, Franschoek and Paarl. They enjoyed sampling the wines at Jordan Wines, Fairview and Tokara as well as a delicious pizza lunch at La Grapperia
The Cape Peninsula tour started off at Boulders Beach Penguin Colony before heading past Cape Point. The next stop was Imhoff Farm where they had an informative session with Johan Ratcliff, Dirty Boots who inspired them with the oportunities that existwithin the Adventure Tourism Industry. Thank you Johan for sharing your passion with the candidates.
The scenic drive along Chapmans Peak took them to their lunch stop at Mariners Warf at Hout Bay Harbour. En-route back they enjoyed the splendour of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the highlight being the walk along the Boomslang.
Thursday was their final assesment where they were tasked to summarise all their educational experiences into a 2minute and 30 second video presentation.
Well done girls ,we are very proud of you and we wish you success in your future Tourism careers.
A busy few weeks under the belt for the Tourism Boot Campers . They completed their technical training in week 3 at the state of the art HBS e-Learning hub, kindly hosted by the V&A Waterfront . Thank you to Chrissy from Earthstompers Adventures for giving of her time to train the candidates on excel costing, budgeting and email formulation. This training is invaluable and so pivotal for their future roles in the Tourism Industry.
Week 4, by far the most fun section of the course, sees them gaining first had experience on what is on offer at the Cape Town Attractions. We would like to express our gradidute to our Industry partners that support this initiative by waivering entrances fees and sharing their inspirational stories of their career jounery.
Danchwa Cloete, Learning and development Coordinator from Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company entertained them with his quirky sense of humour and stories about the strange habits of their visitors. He encouraged them to apply for positions via their anual seasonal recrutiment drive.
Fikile Sizwenya, Visitor Services at the Two Oceans Aquarium guided the excited candidates around their exhibts sharing his vast knowledge of marine life. He inspired them with his success story of starting off as a security guard and working his way up the ranks to become a full time Visitors Services employer.
Yolande West , Sales Manager, Tsogo Sun shared insights and opportunities within the Hotel Industry and guided the Boot Campers around their establishments in the city centre. The candidates now understand and are able to differentiate between the different star grading and room types of the different hotels. Yolande mentioned that one can only succeed if one is prepared to work hard, go the extra mile and always put the guest first.
The rest of the week sees them enjoying the splendour of the Cape Winelands and Cape Peninsula, guided by freelance Tour Guide, Nicole Van Heerden. The final assesment will be an oral presenetation of all their educational experiences which we aim to post on next week’s blog. Watch this space to see who made it through….
The focus for Week Two was to consult on more complex Cape Town itineraries and to upskill the candidates with front of house, oral presentation skills, attentive listening and critical thinking skills. We would once again like to thank our Industry Partners who gave of their time this week to lecture in their area of expertise.
Clive from Cape Town Tour Guide delivered a presentation on customising tour options in and around the Western Cape. From archaeological tours of the West Coast Fossil Park to private photography tours of the Cape Peninsula. He gave an overview of what type of specialised tours they may have to deal with in their future positions as reservations reservations consultants.
Mpumelelo Sefalane, the Community Organiser from Airbnb South Africa shared some inspiration for the more entrepreneurial minded candidates. He explained the co-hosting upliftment program which they have undertaken in the communities and encouraged the candidates to attend the meet-up which is taking place at Bandwidth Barn in Khayelitsha on Wednesday 28th April.
On Wednesday 21 March, Human rights day the candidates headed out on a self discovery tour of the Cape Town City Centre and the V&A Waterfront. The candidates were tasked to visit and enquire on entrance fees and opening times of various attractions and restaurants in and around the CBD. Their presentation skills were put to the test when they were requested to verbally present their feedback and experience of their city tour.
The week ended with an oral assessment moderated by Quintin from Bikes’n Wines and Pieter Geldenhuys, PG Tops and Travel. The candidates needed to confidently model a physical client interaction consultation for a customised three day itinerary in Cape Town including additional activities and restaurant bookings.
Congratulations to Baxolise, Nosiphelo, Thandokazi and Una and who have progressed to Week 3 of Tourism Boot Camp 3.0. We wish them all the best with the technical training where they will sharpen up their computer and excel skills.
The third Tourism Boot Camp commenced on Monday 12 March at PG Tops and Travel office’s with six eager candidates ready to take up the challenge of learning practical skills to better prepare them for their careers in the Tourism Industry.
The candidates who hail from Khayelitsha, Namibia, Observatory, Kraaifontein and Bellville South unanimously agreed that the main reason they applied to Tourism Boot Camp is to help them get jobs in the Tourism Industry as most of them do not have any work experience in the Industry.
Baxolise Mahasha, who is originally from Gauteng has returned for her second attempt even more determined to succeed this time around. She says she is more confident and more geared up in terms of what is expected of her this time around. She aspires to pursue a career as a Reservations Consultant.
The first week’s course curriculum covered Cape Town Tours and Logistics training by Pieter Geldenhuys, Monade van Eeden and Lauren-Lee Isaacs from PG Tops and Travel. In depth training of the Cape Town highlights included : Cape Peninsula tour, Cape Town City Center tour, Langa Township, Robben Island Tour , Aquilla Safari and the Cape Winelands.
Zile’ de Kock from Marine Dynamics orientated the candidates on the Shark cage diving and Whale watching tours offered in Gansbaai and Hermanus. Thank you once again for your time, Zile the girls found your session very informative and are very excited about the possibility of doing an educational in the not too distant future.
The candidates were taught the the core principles of consulting which they readily applied to their timelines and consults as part of their Friday assessment. The good news is that all six candidates have made it through to week two where they will be trained on Front of House, Oral Presentation skills, Attentive Listening and Critical Thinking Skills. They will also be addressed by AirBNB, Capetowntourguide.com and their week 2 assessment will be done in conjunction with Bikes n Wines.
Congratulations to the Tourism Boot Camp candidates who graduated last week, we are so proud of you: Anathi Maqolo, Zintle Mtsi, Zikhona Dunga and Kamva Deliwe.
We wish them all the success with the first step of their journey into the Tourism Industry. Their two week practical placements started this week and this is where they are at:
Anathi, has been placed at Giltedge for the two week period where she was shadowing in the Golf and Sports Department for her first week.
“I was nervous at first but I did okay,” says Anathi of her first day at Giltedge. “They are letting me in on their admin work for consultants where I am checking availability for golf tee-off times, accommodation, restaurants and transfers.” Anathi also spent a week with the team of the Zambezi Queen, a related business. She has now been offered a contract as an admin assistant with PG TOPS Travel and Tours.
Zintle has been offered a 6 month internship contract at Wesgroin the Leisure Tourism Department. She sent us a message to let us know that: ” My first day at Wesgro went really well. Everyone here is super friendly and I even got to meet the CEO, Tim Harris. I am very happy.”
Zikhona is enjoying the busy environment of the Bikes&Winesoffice where she has stepped in to assist with reservations and administrative work . Industry partner Quintin Smith has generously assisted Boot Camp for fleshing out our customer service component, based on the onboarding process for Zikhona in their retail space. Although she is not yet riding a bike she says she will be a pro once she gets used to all the work, look out for her on the trails!
Kamva did her internship with Once in Cape Town. They were suitably impressed, and she has interviewed for the duty manager position. She is on the look out for a visitors services or front of house position in the industry where she can share her outgoing nature and welcoming smile with visitors. Watch this space….
The final week of the classroom training concluded on Friday. The week primarily consisted of a focus on technical skill sets.
We thank the V&A Waterfront for generously offering the use of their HBS E-Learning Centre for the technical training. Chrissy Human from Earthstompers Tours once again gave generously of her time to train Zintle, Zikhona, Anathi and Kamva in both the art of building multiple day costings from the ground up, as well as incorporating those costings into the client facing consulting process.
This was hard work, so the gang was quite happy to break in the half week for a quick trip up Table Mountain, courtesy of the good folks at the Table Mountain Cableway.
By Thursday, PG took over to complete the Bootcamper training, where profitability on quotes, distinction between RACK and STO rates and competitive pricing practice was woven into the methodology.
PG and Leanne also played UBER driver for the candidates to ensure they make it to their various industry appointments. Week 5 sees Anathi (Giltedge), Zikhona (Bikes n Wines) placed with industry partners, with Zintle and Kamva hoping to be placed in due course.
A big thank you to all our industry partners for all your inputs!
Week 3 of Tourism Boot Camp was a busy and fun week for the four candidates that progressed through to this stage. By far the highlight of the course to date since the candidates had the opportunity to experience first hand the amazing Cape Town’s highlights on their educational trips.
Thank you to Two Oceans Aquarium for hosting a behind-the-scenes tour of their incredible facilities. Ingrid and Jenni from Two Oceans Aquarium guided them around and shared their vast knowledge of both the exhibitions and the Tourism Industry.
The candidates were then accompanied by Jessy Lipperts, from Planet Pilgrims on a city walking city tour where they got to take in the sights of the City Hall, Green Market Square and the Company Gardens. Thank you Jessy for enlightening the group on the cultural and historic landmarks in the CBD.
PG Tops and Travel’s Johan was the guide on their Cape Peninsula Tour the following day. He related well to the group, being a successful Boot Camper himself. After a scenic day out the candidates freshened up at their overnight accommodation. Thank you to the team at Once in Cape Town who kindly sponsored their overnight stay so that they could attend the industry launch event.
The launch event, held at the office of Classic Portfolios at The Africa Hub was a great opportunity for the prospective employers to meet the candidates ahead of their two week practical placement which starts next week 12-23 February.
To end off their busy day the group was treated to an authentic African dining experience hosted by Gold Restaurant. Thank you for your generous hospitality, it was an unforgettable experience.
The following day the group headed to Gansbaai to do the Whale Watching Tour with Marine Dynamics. The weather played along beautifully and the boat trip was a first for most of the candidates.