Millennium Challenge Account Bulletin
October 2011 Edition No.7
"MCA gave us a great opportunity" say Chandre and Agatha
The first 15 graduates of a MCA-N sponsored hospitality training at the Wolwedans Foundation are finding their dream jobs. "lt is always busy here and the work is very interesting," says an enthusiastic Chandre Prinsloo from behind the reception of the Arebbusch Travel Lodge in Windhoek. The 19 year old recently finished her level 2 hospitality course at the Wolwedans Desert Academy and now works as a receptionist at Arebbusch.
"The training at Wolwedans was hard but fun," Chandre recalls vividly. "When we got to the Desert Academy it was winter and freezing cold, but I was kept busy with the many visiting Italian tourists and I soon made friends with my fellow trainees."
The Wolwedans Foundation's hospitality courses are co-sponsored by the MCA-N, which provides training grants to eligible candidates in skills sectors that the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) lndustry Skills Committeea defines as 'high priority'. As part of the grant obligations Wolwedans helps the successful trainees to find work. "Taimi Malima, the HR and Admin officer at Wolwedans gets 90% of the credit for finding me this job," explains an elated Chandre. "She was just so helpful and motivating. I am thoroughly enjoying my experience at Arebbusch and the staff here are very friendly and supportive."
Chandre, who loves to cook and wants to become a pastry chef later in life is using her new salary to buy lots of cookbooks and to save for future studies.
Graduated from grade 12 in 2010, Chandre was part of a group of 30 trainees that started hospitality training in January of this year at Wolwedans' two training centres; the NICE Restaurant in Windhoek and the Desert Academy in the South.
During the training the NTA assesses the trainees to check that the '15 are compliant with the unit standard. The best 15 trainees will stay at Wolwedans to continue to Level 3 hospitality qualification. The remaining trainees that passed Level 2 are assisted by Wolwedans to enter the workplace and start earning a real salary.
Wolwedans helps the trainees with CV-writing, developing interview skills and researching the job market. This way the training recipients will qualify to fill the existing skills shortage experienced by the hospitality industry.
"Appearance, time management and language proficiency are essential skills I look for when hiring a receptionist," says Arebbusch front office manager Maria Szabo about the qualities that people in the hospitality sector need to possess. Wolwedans is uniquely obliged by the MCA-N agreement to teach these skills to their trainees during the courses. So that the student's employability and future service delivery is enhanced.
Happy at the Hilton
Agatha Amadhila is 21 years old and is very excited to be working at Windhoek's prestigious new Hilton Hotel.
"MCA-N has given me this great opportunity, I have to do well. I am working hard to complete my probation successfully," Agatha smiles confidently. Normally, I could only have afforded this training through a loan which would have been a heavy financial burden and almost impossible to obtain," says Agatha.
Having completed her studies at St. Josephs Roman Catholic School in Dobra, just outside of Windhoek, Agatha applied for the hospitality course at Wolwedans Foundation and she was very pleased to be selected, "The atmosphere at Wolwedans was vibrant and friendly, the experience at the Desert Academy in the South was wonderful and we met a lot of German tourists," recounts Agatha.
"Stephan Bruckner of the Wolwedans Foundation was so friendly and interactive, I wish more managers and owners in the tourism industry would be like him," she praises the inventor of Wolwedans' self-sustainable tourism ventures. "The coursework was quite hard, but the tests that Wolwedans set for us were actually more challenging than the NTA assessments, so we were well prepared."
"lt's my ambition to work at the front desk of a major hotel and that means I have to learn about the different aspects of the hotel business. There are always calls, deliveries and other duties to perform, so I am learning a lot. I am very happy to be at a hotel of such a high international standard," says an exuberant Agatha.
When asked about the salary at the Hilton, she is a bit coy. "lt's enough, it's really really enough!" she giggles. "l'm treating myself now for studying hard, but next year I will save to continue my studies."
MCA-N wishes Agatha, Chandre and the other Wolwedans graduates a very successful career in the tourism industry.