A light in the dark of South Africa’s youth unemployment crisis


Of the 10 million South Africans between the ages of 15 and 24, 56%* are unemployed. However, according to Sigal Geva, Premier Hotels & Resorts’ Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of the Academic College South Africa, learnerships could be the answer to the youth unemployment crisis.

She says: “Failure of the country’s education system to adequately prepare young people for the world of work, as well as lack of work experience, are major contributors to this crisis, but learnerships tackle both.”

Geva explains that learnerships incorporate theoretical and practical training which enable learners to obtain a nationally-recognised qualification, gain workplace experience and develop skills relevant to their chosen industry – all of which can open doors to employment opportunities.”

To this end, the College offers experiential training at several Premier Hotels & Resorts’ properties - Premier Hotel Cape Town,Splendid Inn King David, Premier Hotel Regent, Premier Hotel EL ICC, the East London International Convention Centre and Premier Resort Mpongo Private Game Reserve – where learners can put their classroom training into practice.

“A large number of learners who have successfully completed their studies are currently employed by the Premier Hotels & Resorts group,” shares Geva.

She concludes: “Hospitality is a crucial component of the tourism industry, which is a key contributor to job creation. More learnerships in the industry could mean even more jobs being created than the 1,636,500 anticipated by the Tourism Business Council of South Africa this year. As members of the business sector, we have an obligation to help combat the youth unemployment crisis by opening our doors to young people and enabling them to gain the skills and experience they need to enter the working world.”


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