Stellenbosch boasts many unique attractions and has a bustling tourism industry, but if you look beyond the hotels and upmarket restaurants there is a local community that faces the daily struggle of a high unemployment rate. The number of unemployed in the area currently sits at 21% and for those without means, further education is a dream that could in no way become a reality if it weren’t for a number of facilities working together with the hospitality industry to provide opportunities for those who need it most.
Here at Oude Werf we are excited to be working alongside Bergzicht Training; a facility where they offer basic skills training to those seeking to become active in the economic social structure of the country. Students at Bergzicht Training are fully funded by donations and are trained in areas such as professional cooking and service, before graduating with a highly-sought after qualification enabling them to work in the many hotels and restaurants in the area.
Says Elanie Fourie, general manager of Oude Werf, “We always look to hire members of staff who have been trained at excellent places such as Bergzicht Training. We are thrilled to have Mavis Nogacado, one of their most recent graduates, on board as a permanent employee and she is already shining like a star in our busy kitchen.” Says Mavis, “Oude Werf is a wonderful place to work. The team is so friendly and made me feel at home from the beginning. I also really enjoy working with guests”.
Another way that Oude Werf is involved in community upliftment is in our relationship with the Stellenbosch Community Learning Centre. We have recently enrolled nine women seeking employment in a complimentary week long Housekeeping course at the hotel. On successful completion of this course they received a certificate and we were thrilled to be able to offer permanent employment to three of these graduates.
Empowering people in such a way, and getting involved at a grass roots level, is a core priority for Oude Werf and we are excited to work alongside these new employees as they grow in their new positions.