Experiential learning within the tourism and hospitalty sector in South Africa with reference to industry requirements for non-technical skills
Kruger, Philippus Stephanes
MetadataShow full item record
Many scholars in the social sciences, especially in the Hospitality industry have seen many changes over the years, based on research conducted in the workplace. Skills seem to be a popular research agenda. The literature is rich on how changes have occurred overtime in the hospitality industry workplace. With such a competitive environment this industry is functioning, it is important that entry level employees or current employees in the workplace possess a variety of non-technical skills. Once attained, these employees, will benefit the Hospitality industry, as happy clients / guests, will return, which will create a profitable workplace. It is vitally important that tertiary institutions pay specific attention to students and graduates, that they obtain non-technical skills, via co-operative education programmes, with a focus on the real employment world outside of education. This will equip them to find a job that could be satisfying and rewarding. Industry on the other hand should identify important non-technical skills and conduct on the job training, inducing such skills. The researcher found that the need for willingness to adapt and eagerness to learn was a consistent theme. The non-technical skills of communication, teamwork, initiative, problem solving and decision making were also highly valued. Respondents were dissatisfied with the quality of entry-level employees beginning their careers, especially graduates who lack non-technical skills. A need was seen for a long-term view of preparation of young people for work, beginning with parents and guardians, who should lay the foundations. Alongside them, educators should be fostering good attitudes and a love for learning, as well as lecturing verbal, numerical and other specific skills. Successful co-operative education programmes often could involve three key role-players, that of employers (managers / supervisors), students / graduates in this context and the tertiary institution they are studying at Technikon’s providing vocationally orientated co-operative education programmes, therefore need to continually examine what skills employers (managers / supervisors) consider to be important with regard to the skills required by students, entering the workplace. This research study revealed that there is a gap between the skills that students acquire in their formal studies and what employers (managers / supervisors) require. If this need is not recognised, the programmes, institution and students will suffer. The study is aimed at making a contribution towards co-operative education programmes in Hospitality and Tourism at technikons by identifying what non-technical skills the Border Technikon is not addressing. It was found that the skills not being adequately addressed fall in the non-technical skills category. The study identifies the non-technical skills required by employers (managers / supervisors) of Border Technikon Hospitality and Tourism students undertaking experiential learning.