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“These learners will graduate in October and have all been offered employment with Flight Centre. And now they have this amazing opportunity to gain first-hand travel experience,” says Sam van Gool, Flight Centre Travel Group Peopleworks General Manager.
“Flight Centre’s Learnership programme aligns with our core vision of inspiring young people through life-changing travel experiences,” adds Janine Salame, Topdeck Managing Director. “We’re immensely proud to provide the platform for young graduates to travel and experience other cultures and places for the first time.”
Salame says applied travel knowledge is absolutely valuable when you are consulting. “Training will teach you theory, however, travelling allows you to feel the emotion of a destination and experience life changing moments.”
The soon-to-be-graduates will be joining the 11-day Topdeck Europe Express itinerary with others travelling on the 12-day Essential Europe trip. They will visit such destinations as London, Paris, the Swiss Alps, Venice, Florence, Rome, Lucerne, Munich, the Rhine Valley and Amsterdam.
“I will be the first one in my family to go overseas,” says Phumzile Nxumalo, a 22-year-old Flight Centre learner from Pretoria.
“I’m excited to experience the Topdeck product for myself, especially the amazing inclusions such as the walking tour of Venice and a gourmet picnic at the Eiffel Tower,” says Nxumalo.
“This Topdeck trip means I can improve my product knowledge and become an even better travel consultant because I will understand what my clients want and need from their travels,” says Dominique January, a 19-year-old Flight Centre learner from Eldorado Park in Johannesburg, who believes the Learnership Programme is a clear embodiment of Flight Centre’s ‘our company is our people’ philosophy.
“Our Flight Centre Learnership programme is integral to our vision of attracting and nurturing the young adults in our community,” adds van Gool.
“It provides our bright young talent with a clear pathway to achieving their career goals by giving them the opportunity to join the Flight Centre family and successfully contribute to the industry, their families and community.”
Learners with a minimum of a grade 10 qualification are recruited from the surrounding areas to join the Learnership programme.
The programme enables successful learners to obtain a National Certificate qualification in General Travel. Learners spend the first seven months at the Johannesburg campus studying the theory portion before being placed in a Flight Centre store to gain practical experience working as a retail consultant.
After successfully completing the programme, they can write final examinations and apply for full-time employment in the Flight Centre Travel Group.
“Flight Centre’s Learnership programme initiative is definitely industry leading and will ensure that tourism continues to flourish in South Africa,” says Salame.
“Family is important to me,” says Mpho Thulo, Flight Centre learner and an only child raised by his maternal grandmother. “I feel like a member of the Flight Centre Travel Group family. I’ve sold a Topdeck trip before and the client returned raving about how awesome it was. This trip literally means the world to me as Flight Centre and Topdeck are affording me the opportunity to actually see the world, not only imagine it.”