This, in an incredibly volatile and politically tumultuous economic environment is incredibly good news, although a question must be raised around the educational institutions responsible for facilitating its development.
For a doctor to be able to qualify, they undergo years of specialised training in facilitated teaching environments. You won’t find a doctor that hasn’t learnt how to scrub his hands before entering a theatre able to perform successful brain surgery – if you do; you’re unlikely to live to be able to tell the tale. By the same token, why should the training and education around the [current] R39 billion hotel industry be any different?
Ronel Bezuidenhout, Managing Director of leading South African Hotel School, Capital Hotel School (CHS), expresses concerns around the caliber of candidates graduating from hospitality programs.
“Although these courses offer an impressive compendium of necessary certification logos, the reality is that only parts of these certifications are being met through the 6 month courses currently on offer to make the school and qualification more attractive to a generation that’s become synonymous with instant gratification.”
Bezuidenhout believes what will set a student or individual working in hospitality apart, is the quality of their work and service they deliver – whether turning down a bed in a hotel or preparing an A La Carte meal in a Michelin Star restaurant. “How can we expect to be offering quality candidates to an industry that is earmarked to be worth an incredible R59 billion by 2021, when we’re arming them with an incomplete qualification?” says a very passionate Bezuidenhout.
“According to the PwC Hotel outlook report, of the 9.3% increase in hotel room revenue over the next 5 years, over 50% of this growth comes from four and five star establishments – not quite the level that can be adequately fulfilled by a team with a few months of educational training.”
Capital Hotel School has always been meticulous about keeping abreast of industry needs, both locally and internationally, through the partnerships they have established over the years. “We keep our ears to the ground as far as what this industry needs and place a large focus on how we can help support those needs as we prepare the generation that will continue to drive the industry forward,” says Bezuidenhout.
“There is no way I would send a candidate into a world where the likes of that responsibility rests on their shoulders, with only half the skill required to make it happen.”