The Department of Higher Education and Training has called upon the private sector to foster meaningful partnerships with TVET colleges and other social partners to help improve the effectiveness and efficiency of public colleges. In response to this call, the NBI designed a project that seeks to contribute to a body of knowledge and practice on models for and approaches to Lecturer Work Exposure (LWE) in tourism and hospitality that can help improve the responsiveness of college provision to employer needs.
The broad aim of the LWE pilot project is to align college provision with the needs of industry that will enhance the employability of college graduates.
The objectives of the project are to:
- Enhance the competence of Tourism and Hospitality lecturers in the participating colleges.
- Test the implementation of a model for continuing professional development.
- Facilitate meaningful college/industry partnerships and linkages.
- Focus attention on the need for relevant curricula for Tourism and Hospitality.
Key elements of the project include: selection of colleges and lecturers; lecturer self-assessment; design of structured placement; lecturer placement; and reflections on the experience gained; and improved curriculum delivery.
These elements are supported by the World of Work e-Learning Platform made up of a variety of mediums such as YouTube Videos, Activities, Case Studies or Discussion Groups as well as information on activities in the sector. The Platform also provides the opportunity for lecturers to share experiences amongst themselves and between themselves and companies.
Fifty-two lecturers from six Gauteng TVET Colleges (Central Johannesburg TVET College, Ekurhuleni East TVET College, Sedibeng TVET College, South West Gauteng TVET College, Tshwane North TVET College and Tshwane South TVET College) were exposed to industry in: Banqueting, Culinary Skills/Mass Catering, General Hotel, Housekeeping, Hotel Front Office, Tourism Inbound, and Wholesale and Travel Desk.
The commitment and active participation of companies contributed to the success of this initiative. Companies that hosted the lecturer over five days are: The Birchwood Hotel, the Compass Group, Tourvest, Gauteng Tourism Authority, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn Sandton, Radisson Blu Gautrain and Sheraton. The evaluation has confirmed that LWE has the potential to contribute to improved teaching and delivery of a responsive curriculum. Therefore, greater investment must also be placed on identifying mechanisms to support lecturers to integrate and translate into practice the experience gained from industry.
Planning for Phase Two in underway and includes tracking the lecturers to ascertain how they are translating the experience gained in industry into improved teaching. Phase Two will also improve access to the World of Work platform and provide up-to-date resources and information to enable lecturers to keep abreast of industry developments.