Creating employment and skills training and development

Published: 06 April 2016
Last edited: 03 May 2018
Employing local staff and investing in their skills training and development is an important way to include communities in PA tourism. Available jobs are, however, limited to operation size, hence using local suppliers is also important. Tourism employment provides direct benefits to local households and significantly impacts on overall household income and social welfare. The majority of camp staff (more than 75%) are from Torra Conservancy, with community members having been trained into management positions, e.g. Lena Florry. An online training system, Lobster Inc, has provided extensive skills training for community members. The building of the Camp required 20–30 unskilled, casual labourers, some of which went on to find permanent employment in the Camp and in other WS camps in Namibia. Employment has helped reduce out-migration by youth who might otherwise be drawn to cities in search of gainful employment. With each staff member at Damaraland Camp supporting an average of six people (Snyman, 2012a), the camp indirectly benefits around 139 members of Torra Conservancy, or 12% of the total population, excluding the outsourcing of services (such as road maintenance and laundry) that also impact on local community members.

Classifications

Category
Education, training and other capacity development activities
Scale of implementation
Local

Enabling factors

NGO support with skills training and capacity development. Strong internal private sector training capabilities and investment in good training programmes. Desire of community members to engage, learn new skills, etc. Government support through providing skills training and development for the tourism industry

Lessons learned

The majority of communities have no prior tourism experience and it is, therefore, critical to ensure an understanding of tourism, business, marketing, sales, etc. Providing community members with a thorough understanding of the tourism industry is also important to ensure awareness of the industry and the requirements for it in terms of skills, goods and services, etc. Some community members may not be interested in tourism in their area but they should still be made aware of it and have an understanding of its impact on their community: to ensure long-term support for tourism and conservation in the area.