14.10.2016 - Education Sector

Matching skills to industry boosts job chances for hospitality students in Botswana

© UNESCO/John Churu

A hospitality management course designed as part of UNESCO’s Better Education for Africa’s Rise projects (BEAR) in Gaborone, the Republic of Botswana, has benefited 200 students thanks to close involvement with industry.

Students in the fields of culinary arts, hospitality management and travel management took part in a trial run of the course at two colleges.

In the light of the UNESCO - Cedefop global skills conference taking place at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, from 20-21 October 2016, the positive outcomes of the BEAR programme emphasize the impact that quality Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) systems can have on youth employment.  

The conference titled ‘Skills, jobs and sustainable development: global trends, local challenges’ will gather policymakers, experts and stakeholders from different regions in the world to debate global market trends and how education can help diminish potential mismatches between skill demand and supply.

Nyaladzi Radisebo, who completed a six-month hospitality management placement, said: “The industry really appreciates the services we render. After finishing my work placement, Town Lodge hotel called me to resume work as a relief chef despite the fact that I am yet to graduate (…) I once trained with a different institution but never got close to being hired. Things changed when I switched to the BEAR programme.”

Transparent grading systems

The BEAR team in Botswana has been working on a labour market analysis and developing curricula for new courses on culinary arts, hospitality management and travel management in close dialogue with the industry. The strong involvement of stakeholders in the development of the programme has had a high impact on the matching between skills demand and supply.

Ms Tjedu Radinaane, teacher in hospitality management, said: “One of the greatest joys of the programme as compared to others is that the industry is involved in its growth of the programme. That is why our students are being readily accepted in work placements without problems.”

Ms Tjedu Radinaane also stresses the importance of transparent qualification grading systems approved and understood by the industries:

“The Botswana Technical Education Programmes that was there before this BEAR programme had a system of grading which was not clearly defined enough to be accepted by industry.”

The BEAR project is funded by the Government of the Republic of Korea, to help SADC countries (Botswana, DR Congo, Malawi, Namibia and Zambia) improve their TVET systems. The projects implement sectoral programmes through public and private partnership since 2011.  

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