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With a myriad of study options awaiting high school graduates, choosing a qualification in the hospitality industry can be the start of an exciting career in a sector that is thriving globally.

It is evident from local data that employment in the overall tourism sector is on the rise – boding well for hospitality graduates. Statistics South Africa’s Tourism Satellite Account for South Africa (final 2013 and provisional 2014 and 2015) *, which was published in December 2016, noted that in 2015, 1 in 22 employed individuals were working in the tourism industry. This translates to 4,5% of the local workforce. The total number of people employed in the tourism industry in 2015 came in at 711 746 (up from 679 560 in 2014), with 20% of jobs concentrated in the food & beverage segment and 19% in accommodation.

One of the avenues available to youngsters and individuals looking to qualify themselves for a career in hospitality is to attend the Academic College of South Africa, managed by Premier Hotels & Resorts. The college offers training in the hospitality industry, as well as jobs for students who have excelled during their studies and practicals.

The college also provides career guidance for students upon application. Furthermore, the college is an accredited institution of the Culture Art Tourism Hospitality and Sports Sector Education and Training Authority (Cathsseta), empowering students to attain nationally recognised qualifications (including matric and higher education equivalents).

“Looking at the different establishments we target, from restaurants and hotels, game lodges, holiday resorts, airlines, cruise liners, information centres, heritage and cultural attractions, to conference venues and tourism services, graduates have a treasure trove of hospitality career paths to choose from. Foodies might prefer a certificate or diploma in cookery or in food and beverage service. Others – who are passionate about daily interpersonal interaction – will benefit from a certificate in hospitality reception or a diploma in hospitality service management,” says Chief Operating Officer of Premier Hotels & Resorts, Sigal Geva.

Together with classroom theory, practical work experience is provided at Premier properties in the Eastern Cape, including Premier Hotel King David, Premier Hotel Regent, Premier Hotel EL ICC, East London International Convention Centre and Mpongo Private Game Reserve.

“The true beauty of a hospitality qualification is that it is not just a stepping stone for a job – it also gives you the opportunity to enter an exciting, vibrant environment that is continually evolving,” adds Geva.

She concludes: “Imagine being employed at a lush game farm in the heart of Limpopo, or rubbing shoulders with international clientele on Cape Town’s beachfront. The possibilities to live out your hospitality dreams are endless, and within your reach.”

Visit the Academic College of South Africa’s website at www.academicsa.co.za. For more information on Premier Hotels & Resorts, visit www.premierhotels.co.za. For media enquiries, contact kirsten@eclipsepr.co.za.

*Source: Statistics South Africa 

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