As a result of a 12-year partnership, Thornybush and the South African College of Tourism (SACT) successfully place local and neighbouring community matriculants into the tourism industry. Our role at Thornybush Community is to fund, assist and facilitate this recruitment and application process by identifying local candidates who have a flair and passion for tourism.
Through our internship programme, successful students receive a full bursary to study for one year at the South African College for Tourism in Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape. Once our candidates have successfully completed their studies, Thornybush Community offers top students a year-long paid internship at one of the Thornybush lodges in the Greater Kruger Park. This is invaluable work experience and gives them the chance to put into practice what they’ve learnt during their training. We also provide students with progress mentorship and any emotional support they may need throughout the 24-month programme.
During the tourism challenges that we faced last year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a concern that this important initiative, which has given hope to so many students, was going to be affected. Thankfully, when we reached out to Conservation South Africa, a valued partner, together we were able to identify a new partner to help with funding.
YES4Youth is a business-led collaboration that seeks out ground-breaking ways to reignite the economy and give youth a dignified chance, through innovation and technological best practices. The reason they came on board is to help fund this programme and give our youth continued support.
It’s an absolute honour that we’ve been able to position on average 50 percent of students that have completed their internship with us at one of our Thornybush lodges. Those students that we haven’t been able to place, are still guided by us to find suitable employment or further education opportunities.