By Julie-May Ellingson, CEO, CTICC
A key pillar of the knowledge economy is having educated and skilled people who are equipped and enabled to create, share, and use knowledge efficiently. To this effect, the CTICC has invested substantially in the training and developmental needs of our staff.
We invested in a total of 3 639 hours of training for our permanent staff, which is a 235% increase over the 1 085 hours of training provided in the 2013/14 financial year. In addition to this short-term training, 31 staff members also had access to 20 different forms of long-term training, at some of the leading universities and institutions of higher learning.
We also undertook on-the-job training for our contract staff which contributed to our excellent customer service. We continually measure our success in this regard through our independently verified customer satisfaction index. In 2014/15, we again exceeded our overall customer satisfaction target of 75% by achieving a customer satisfaction rating of 80% across our business.
The CTICC’s growth strategy is founded on the cornerstones of succession planning and implementation. Our vision is to develop and strengthen our employees by prioritising training so as to allow those employees to set and follow their chosen career paths.
For us, training encompasses the four spheres of statutory, vocational, developmental and values-based leadership. The training we offer across these spheres is delivered with a focus on leadership development, team building, effective employee engagement and coaching.
In May 2015, we launched our exciting new graduate programme, which is aimed at providing young people who have recently obtained relevant tertiary qualifications with practical work experience. Each of these graduates received a one-year, fixed term contract, during which time they will work according to a detailed employment programme to ensure that they get maximum industry exposure. We have currently have new graduates in Sales, Marketing and the culinary department. On successful completion of their contracts, they will be able to apply for any relevant positions that may become available.
Our student placement programme offers students of local and international tertiary institutions the opportunity to gain on-the-job exposure within the events industry that while studying, forms part of their qualification requirements stand them in good stead when they eventually enter their careers. During the 2014/15 financial year, we took in 12 students – 10 from local tertiary institutions and two internationals. These students took up positions within the Banqueting, Kitchen, Procurement, Human Resources and Marketing departments.
For us, education and skills transfer goes beyond merely training our staff. Significant time is also invested sharing our knowledge within the broader community. Some recent examples include:
CTICC Career Skills Day
We hosted 50 students from Mitchells Plain School of Skills and Lathi-tha School of Skills in Khayelitsha at a CTICC Career Skills Management Day in June this year. This interactive workshop, facilitated by our staff, created a platform for knowledge sharing, advice, insights and computer training, all geared to equip our youth with the tools they need to find gainful employment.
Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC)
We also hosted staff of the KICC as part of their exposure programme. Their team shadowed our Operations, Finance, Human Resources, ICT and Security staff to learn from the CTICC team. The KICC staff thoroughly enjoyed their time at the CTICC and a lot of fun and learning was had.
Angolan Ministry of Hotels and Tourism
The CTICC is benchmarked as an industry leader in terms of our product offering and our service excellence. We hosted the Angolan Ministry of Hotels and Tourism on a fact-finding and learning exercise to adopt best practice for their research into the development of a convention centre in Angola.
Youth Interpreter Magazine (community-based organisation)
This magazine, managed and produced by a team of incredible youth, had approached the CTICC for advertising. What they walked away with, was way more than what they could have hoped for. CTICC staff across all disciplines of the organisation volunteered their time and resources over a six month period of intense knowledge sharing and skills transfer. This covered the areas of Communications, Marketing, Administration and Sustainability. The result was that they were able to up their game and operate a more professional and sustainable business.
The CTICC remains committed to being a catalyst for knowledge exchange and collaboration and will continue to facilitate skills transfer in this regard.