File image: IOL.

CAPE TOWN - In a bid to tackle stark unemployment levels, the Western Cape government calls on all unemployed young people to participate in a countrywide tourism training programme. 

As part of the government's Expanded Works Programme, the Tourism Department aims to train young people as data collectors. 

"I’d like to encourage young people in the Western Cape to take advantage of this opportunity. Successful applicants will earn a stipend during the programme, and receive valuable training they can apply to advance their careers. It’s a great platform to obtain on the-job-training and experience and I wish all the province’s applicants well", said Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde. 

With unemployment sitting at a chilling 27.7%, the highest levels since 2003, South Africa accounted for 67% youth unemployment. 

The training programme seeks to recruit people between the ages of 18 and 35, in possession of a NQF Level 5 qualification, either a degree or diploma in tourism or any related field. 

The successful candidates will conduct surveys and be paid a stipend over a 12 month duration. 

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The deadline to apply for this programme is Monday, December 4. 

According to Statistics South Africa in September this year, South Africa's tourism is worth R63 billion. 

As tough as it is to secure a job, the tourism sector appears to be booming.

However, in Pretoria last year, graduate  Lindelani Madonsela took to the streets to advertise his services, in a bid to gain employment. 

The public management graduate was unable to secure a job and returned to his home town of Pongola in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

The Department of Tourism therefore calls on all qualifying candidates to use this opportunity to gain entry into the workforce. 

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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE