In common with other developing countries, South Africa has a high unemployment rate. The rate is highest among school leavers—the group least likely to find employment in the formal sector, particularly if they are from rural areas.
In an innovative approach, Signature Life Institute of Hospitality Studies started a training program for matriculants from rural areas in KwaZulu Natal. For six months, these students are living and working at a Life Hotel, gaining on-the-job experience in a field of their choice. Their options are: Kitchen, Reception & Guest Services, Housekeeping & Laundry, Food & Beverage, and Hotel Butling. Included in the course is 3-weeks of intensive classroom tuition.
The International Institute of Modern Butlers is proud to be associated with this initiative and, under the auspices of the Private Hotel School in Stellenbosch, outside Cape Town, has taken on the responsibility of training the Hotel Butler candidates.
One of the most exciting aspects of this program is that successful students receive placements at the end of the six-month period. This is in stark contrast to expensive programs that produce hopeful students who then face a tough job market. It is unfortunately true that the longer a graduate goes without finding a job, the less likely they are to be employed in the field of their qualification—a statistic this program seeks to overcome. This training must provide the students with real, useable skills that prospective employers need.
One of the Institute’s biggest challenges has been how to train students who have no background in the hotel industry within the time period allowed. We are confident that the unique program—following proven, proprietary Institute training materials—will provide each student with the required skills.
We are certainly committed to making it a success with our partners.
About the Author (Author Profile)Steven Ferry is chairman of the International Institute of Modern Butlers and the author of bestsellers "Butlers & Household Managers 21st Century Professionals" and "Hotel Butlers, The Great Service Differentiators." He also trains and consults for the profession around the world.
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