Convention Centre skills boost

20 February 2007

The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) is driving job creation in the Western Cape by ensuring that its staff are trained to meet industry requirements.

According to a new report commissioned by the CTICC, 2 343 people were directly employed in the province because of the centre during 2006, a figure that is expected to rise to 3 636 in 2007. The centre was also responsible for 3 058 indirect jobs in 2006, expected to increase to 5 102 in 2007.

Approximately 1 500 casual staff members have worked at the centre since its inception, with some 600 staff being employed at any one time. On average casual employees remain with the centre for 16 months – working in the areas of catering, operations and maintenance

The CTICC and the Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa (Fedhasa) jointly conducted the report, which looked into the training of current and past casual staff in the three years since the centre began operating.

According to the report, the centre’s training programmes bring employees up to internationally recognised standards, and several previously unskilled casual staff members have gone on to permanent positions elsewhere in the industry.

“Each year about a third of our casual staff are new faces, replacing the third or so who go on to find jobs elsewhere in the industry,” says the centre’s managing director, Dirk Elzinga. “As many as 78% receive training at the CTICC.”

According to the report, one in four companies in the hospitality industry have employed, or currently employ, staff with CTICC experience. Seventy-two percent of all hospitality employers also said that working experience at the CTICC was an important factor on an applicant’s CV.

“We also had very positive feedback from hospitality employers towards people with working experience at the CTICC,” says Elzinga.

To increase the career potential of its casual staff, the centre is implementing a training programme incorporating a Passport to Success, outlining the disciplines in which the casual staff member has been trained. The “passport” will serve as a reference and be recognised by other hospitality employers who participate in the project.

“The CTICC passport will make the training and skills more tangible for people in terms of finding a new job when they leave the centre,” Elzinga says.

SouthAfrica.info reporter

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