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Upskilled to join the hospitality industry


Josiah Montsho, GM of the Pepperclub Hotel & Spa, with FCD graduates, Zoliwe Thame, Victoria Jada, Kwanele Kawa, and Colleen de Vries, HR Manager of the Hotel

Inspired by the Mandela Day message of “Take action; inspire change; make every day a Mandela Day”, Pepperclub Hotel & Spa in Cape Town decided launched its Mandela Day Pepperclub Hotel & Spa Upskilling Programme, benefitting three candidates from the Fisantekraal Centre for Development – a non-profit centre for training and development for the unemployed in Durbanville. As part of the programme these candidates were afforded the opportunity to receive 67 days of on-the-job training at the hotel, with the aim of guiding these individuals to launch their careers in the local hospitality sector.

“With unemployment at its highest level in years and youth unemployment at 38,6%, we were inspired to do more this year, taking the Mandela Day initiative from 67 minutes to 67 days,” says Josiah Montsho, general manager at Pepperclub Hotel & Spa, who explained that after the conclusion of the two-month training programming, these candidates will be offered permanent, full-time employment at the hotel in the departments in which they excel the most.

The candidates to take part in the inaugural training programme are Zoliwe Thame, Kwanele Kawe and Victoria Jada.

Zoliwe Thame (28) of Bloekombos in Kraaifontein completed her training in job readiness and computer skills at the Fisantekraal Centre for Development, and describes herself as a hard worker who is able to manage any challenge that comes her way. She endeavours to use this training programme to the best of her ability, and aims to be promoted to supervisor level within the next five years.

Victoria Jada (21) of Durbanville studied a job readiness and office basics course at Fisantekraal Centre for Development. Excited to learn as much as possible about the industry, she sees this opportunity as a new beginning and plans to work her way up to management level within a few years.

Kwanele Kawe (23), originally from the Eastern Cape, is looking forward to furthering her studies in marketing, recognising the importance that this skill plays in the business sector. Kawe strives to be a positive influence in her community, and aims to use this opportunity to inspire others.

“The two-month training programme is an initiative that the hotel will aim to implement every year on Mandela Day,” says Montsho. “We feel that everyone deserves a fighting chance at building their career, and as an industry that continues to outperform in the current challenging economic conditions, it is more important than ever that we make a greater effort to contribute to broader growth.”

Montsho has also put the challenge out to other hospitality establishments in the city to do the same or similar this Mandela Day – to take the 67-minute initiative well beyond expectations and create opportunities for growth with far reaching effects.

“Nelson Mandela once said that a fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world a better place, and, together with the ‘teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’ proverb in mind, we look forward to welcoming these three candidates into our hotel team and embarking on their new career path alongside them,” concludes Montsho.

“All 3 trainees have been offered permanent positions as from 1 October,” says HR Manager, Colleen de Vries. “Zoliwe Thame (centre) is working in the kitchen as a Chef hand, Victoria Jada  (right) has been placed as a waitron in the Restaurant. Kwanele Kawa, (left) who was initially employed as a waitron,  has just been moved into a position in our admin department working in stores.  She is moving up in hospitality!” says Colleen.