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The relevance of the National Certificate Vocational at Technical Vocational Education and Training colleges for the South African tourism industry
The study was planned to investigate the relevance of the National Certificate Vocational tourism programme for the South African tourism industry in terms of the employability and skills required by tourism students to work in the tourism industry, once they graduated. The main objective of this study was to identify the challenges facing the National Certificate Vocational tourism programme, with sub-objectives focussing on the level of graduates’ employability, articulation from the National Certificate Vocational programme to higher education, as well as on the skills and abilities needed by National Certificate Vocational lecturers to teach in their specific field. The research was conducted in the form of an empirical survey to gather information using research questionnaires. A mixed methods approach, using both a quantitative and qualitative methodology, was employed to gather relevant data for the study. Qualitative questionnaires were distributed to a target population comprising conveniently selected National Certificate Vocational Tourism graduates (a total sample of 100), and National Certificate Vocational lecturers (a sample of 50 suitably qualified persons), at four Technical Vocational Education and Training colleges in the Western Cape. Personal interviews were conducted with ten conveniently selected tourism industry employers and role-players. Ten specifically identified representatives of tourism and government education departments and other government organisations were also part of the target population. The first part of the study looked at the history of Vocational Education and how it is practised in other countries. The history of the National Certificate Vocational programmes within South Africa is explained, as well as the challenges facing the National Certificate Vocational tourism qualification and its relevance to the tourism industry in South Africa. Results from the research suggested that National Certificate Vocational tourism students are only employable in small to medium micro enterprises (SMMEs) once they graduate. It was concluded that graduates would need more experience and practical knowledge to be employable in the wider tourism labour market. The results confirm that the updated National Certificate Vocational tourism curriculum is critically important to make the qualification more relevant to the South African tourism industry.
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