Windhoek - Tresia Shipepe, 26, who has just completed training in the hospitality and tourism sector through the Wolwedans and Nice Restaurant, says she is now better poised to look for employment and once employed to help herself and her family.
“This is not the end. There are a lot of opportunities and I am going to look for a job,” states Shipepe from Onashiku Shalambani in the Oshana Region who is also considering starting a catering company in the future.
Technology should not be allowed to replace people in the tourism and hospitality sector. Because it is a sector that places heavy reliance on the warmth of a human being and as such will always need well-trained, qualified and hospitable persons. This was said by Social Security Commission (SSC) chief executive officer, Milka Mungunda, at the first Wolwedans Foundation graduation ceremony held last week. A total of 28 graduates were trained free of charge for three years. They obtained level 3 certificates in commercial (chef) and food and beverage service. The SSC development fund availed a N$5 million grant to the Wolwedans Foundation for training in the hospitality and tourism sector. Ten of the trainees were sponsored by the SSC, part of 48 apprentices who will be trained with the funding.
About eight of the trainees already secured employment at the Wolwedans and Nice restaurant. “It is a big responsibility for us at social security to make sure we contribute towards the national development, skills, professional development, job creation and to the gross domestic product (GDP) of our own country,” stated Mungunda. This will help increase the number of Namibian graduates in the hospitality field that was off limits to the disadvantaged prior to independence.
The Wolwedans Foundation chairperson, Stephan Brückner, says they are not just chasing the buck but feel a great desire to give back through training. “It is a happy partnership. We put down their money to something that works. The pass rate at Wolwedans is 100%. If you look at it from an economic point of view it is money well spent,” Brückner emphasises.
He adds that over ten years they have trained 250 graduates and 200 of those are working in the industry. Although the SSC contract (funding) is coming to an end this year, they will look at possibilities to carry on this good partnership.
Brückner also states that going forward they will attach cost to the training and put in another level where they find bursaries and sponsorships for needy youngsters who cannot afford to pay.
“But there are also young people whose parents have the means to pay for the education and in a ironical way they are not part of the programme because their parents can afford it and it is wrong,” says he.