Bergrivier Tourism Launches Youth Development Program
An exciting new Youth Development Program within the tourism sector has been launched by the Bergrivier Tourism Organisation (BTO) in a bid to empower and support young people from the local Bergrivier communities.
The program, which kicks off in January 2024, will be working with marginalised local youths to equip them with the skills and knowledge that will enhance their employability within the tourism sector. It will also be working with them to help with personal growth and development, and to nurture their aspirations.‘We decided to launch this initiative because tourism is at the forefront of our area’s economic growth, however, presently, a significant portion of the rural population in the Bergrivier grapples with poverty, limited skills, and a perception that tourism primarily benefits the affluent,’ explains Nomonde Ndlangisa, CEO of Bergrivier Tourism. ‘This situation particularly affects the youth in our community, placing them at a significant disadvantage as they lack the necessary skills to participate in the tourism industry. Consequently, this predicament results in alarmingly high unemployment rates amongst this age group and, regrettably, school dropout rates are also on the rise. Furthermore, the absence of local higher education institutions providing post-matric tourism training compounds these challenges.’