Youth Month 2018: Tourism events and programmes for youth

2018-06-12 18:00 - Kavitha Pillay
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South African youth.

Photo: iStock.

Youth Day in South Africa, on 16 June, commemorates the students in Soweto in 1976 who protested for equality.

Today, Youth Day serves as a reminder of the progress SA has made with respect to equality for youth, as well as the importance they play as agents of positive change and hope for the future.

SEE: Youth Month 2018: Where to celebrate Mzansi’s youth across SA

Festivities are taken beyond 16 June with the entire month of June now dedicated to celebrating youth by empowering them.

Organisations across various industries host events and programmes to foster the youth’s interest in respective fields, by providing skills development and internship opportunities, scholarships and site-visits – all of which allow youth to learn from and develop.

Here are some tourism industry events and programmes designed especially for youth.

Department of Tourism graduate programmes

The National Department of Tourism holds a number of graduate programmes for youth who wish to pursue careers in the tourism industry. One of these programmes is the National Food Safety and Quality Assurers Training Programme.

Eastern Cape youth who completed the programme graduated on 11 June, in a ceremony attended by Deputy Minister of Tourism, Elizabeth Thabethe.

"One of the key successful programmes that we run as the Department of Tourism is in youth development. We strive to make a difference in young people's lives," said Thabethe at the ceremony which saw 30 learners being employed by the Cecilia Makiwane Hospital in Eastern Cape.

Among the youth in tourism programmes, in 2017 the Department of Tourism, together with OR Tambo District Municipality and Ekurhuleni Metro, held a programme with school children to foster future tourism ambassadors.

SEE: New youth programme fosters future SA tourism ambassadors

The programme has allowed two hundred learners from OR Tambo District Municipality to visit Gauteng attractions, and the same number from Ekurhuleni to visit the birthplace of OR Tambo in the Eastern Cape.

SAA Youth Month Career Summit

Fostering a love for the aviation industry, South African Airways (SAA) hosts a Youth Month Career Summit covering all aspects of the industry, including hospitality and tourism.

The airline says that there are “limitless opportunities on the ground as well as in the sky” with careers in engineering, aviation medicine, aviation law, ground operations and more.

Currently underway, the summit provides a platform for students in grades 9 - 11 to engage with the airline industry, through a number of talks by pilots, aircraft instrument instructors and past summit attendees who are now soaring in the industry. There’s also an exhibition centre and Q and A sessions.

Check out some highlights of the summit below:

SAA offers a number of programmes for youth in SA’s airline industry, that provide theoretical and practical skills. Click here to find out more about SAA’s youth development programmes.

Youth Opportunities Expo

Youth, Jobs, Careers and Entrepreneurship Opportunities Expo hosted by Gauteng Provincial Government is currently underway in Johannesburg.

Taking place at Nasrec Expo Centre until 17 June, the expo features demonstrations of a variety of workplace environments in a number of industries. It also provides career guidance, internships and learnerships.

There are 115 exhibitors from the private and public sector providing information and services on careers, jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities. Click here for more information.

FEDHASA Cape’s 2018 Youth Bursary programme

Hospitality students are encouraged to apply for the FEDHASA (Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa) Cape’s 2018 Youth Bursary programme.

Jeff Rosenberg, chairperson of FEDHASA Cape says the annual scholarship is awarded to deserving third and final year hospitality students.

Applications close at 12:00 on 31 August 2018. Click here for the application form and email your application to or fax it to 021 552 3466.

Aviation Youth Show

Inspired by Nelson Mandela, the SA Civil Association Authority (SACAA) is spreading its wings to the outskirts of Limpopo in the Vhembe District to host an Aviation Youth Show. The show takes place on 15 June 2018, from 8:30 – 16:30, at Joseph Rhangani High School, Botsoleni Village, Mhinga in Limpopo.

According to SACAA, it will bring the exciting world of aviation to over 250 learners to teach them that the sky is no longer the limit. The event takes place in partnership with the Department of Education and the Mhinga traditional authority.

Upcoming events

There are also tourism industry events for youth to attend later on in the year too:

National Tourism Careers Expo

The National Tourism Careers Expo (NTCE) is set to take place in the North West, from 28 - 30 September 2018, providing a platform for the tourism sector to create awareness about careers and opportunities in the industry.

NTCE also gives students and unemployed graduates the chance to interact with potential employers and learn more.