Theta Learning Materials

These materials were written over the last few years by writers commissioned by the Tourism Learnership Project (TLP ) as part of a learning materials development initiative to support the new qualifications produced for the tourism, hospitality and conservation sub-sectors.

The intention was to ensure that there are materials available, especially where none had existed for new areas of learning. However, they do not replace other sources of materials, particularly those which existed in some form prior to the establishment of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). They are also not intended for learners to use alone – but rather as supports for trainer, be they training in the workplace or in a more formal training setting.

With the emphasis being on outcomes, rather than the method or process of training, trainers remain free to use whatever materials they feel are useful to them. These materials, then, are only a contribution to the pool of materials available and do not assume to be definitive, nor are they prescribed by either the TLP or THETA.

We hope these materials are a useful support for the skills development work in which you are engaged.

Functions of the Department:

The skills development department is responsible for:

  • Collecting and disbursing skills development levies;
  • Developing and implementing the Sector Skills Plan;
  • Facilitating Chamber Committee operations;
  • Implementing the National Skills Development Strategy
  • Liaising with the sector
  • Monitoring and auditing skills development implementation

The Levies and Grants Section is responsible for:

  • Receiving levies from the Department of Labour
  • Administering the grant disbursement schedules
  • Receiving the Workplace Skills Plans (WSP) and Implementation Reports (IR)
  • Conducting administrative validation of the WSP and IR
  • Facilitating reallocation of any misallocated employers
  • Administering Change of Jurisdiction applications
  • Compiling a Skills Development Facilitators database
  • Preparing Grant Disbursement Schedules for qualifying employer organisations
  • Capturing WSP, IR, and other grants as required by THETA
  • Administering queries on levies and grants

The Chamber Co-ordinators are responsible for:

  • Sector liaison on skill development in the respective sectors.
  • Providing necessary strategic information to Chamber Committees and facilitating implementation of Chamber initiatives.
  • Supporting development of sub sector capacity building in implementing the National Skills Development Strategy.
  • Monitoring and auditing implementation of Skills Development initiatives by employers in the respective THETA sub sectors.
  • Participating in THETA committees as required by THETA management.
  • Validating WSP and Implementation Reports from the respective sub sectors.
  • Developing stakeholder databases.

THETA is responsible for developing a Sector Skills Plan (SSP), which is a four-year strategic document. The SSP represents the implementation framework for achieving the objectives and targets as set out in the National Skills Development Strategy. The first Sector Skills Plans were developed for the period 2000 – 2004. Currently THETA has begun a process of developing a SSP document for the period 2005 – 2009, this document will be aligned to the National Skills Development Objectives and Targets, which are under review.

Hospitality Staff Training and How you can Benefit

South Africa has become a hotspot for international tourists as a top holiday destination in recent years. It is essential to ensure that we maintain a high level of hospitality awareness in order to remain comparable to other competitive destinations. Whether you own a a seaside B&B in Hermanus, a Five Star Boutique Hotel in Sandton or a backpackers in Cape Town, the fact remains that basic hospitality training of staff should be on ongoing process for you. Even the most humble of establishments can benefit immensely from having well trained staff. Guests of hotels and establishments offering accommodation appreciate good service and your business will reap the rewards through “word of mouth” advertising as well as good reviews on websites like TripAdvisor. Hospitality staff should be well versed not only in their basic duties but also be able to converse with and develop a good rapport with patrons whilst performing their daily tasks. We recommend holding weekly staff meetings and training exercises with staff, informing them of local news that may be of interest to guests, events taking place in the area you are situated, even create short concise documents to hand out during theses training sessions to allow for them to read through later. The benefits are two fold. Your staff will appreciate your participation with them, they will learn new information which they can benefit from not only in the work place and they will be better prepared for interaction with the guests of your establishment.

Here’s an example of a topic that could be used as a training session :

There seems to be a day for every issue under the sun and I am never quite sure what event or a special day it is. There are many different awareness days throughout the year, but I have compiled a list that covers May for South Africa and some International days are also included.

Energy Month

The purpose of Energy month is to bring awareness to, how to conserve energy and therefore reduce energy consumption in ever day life.

A few things you can do are:

  • Turn Lights off in a room you leave
  • Use energy saving bulbs
  • Take a shower instead of a bath, which saves water as well.
  • Switch off appliances when you are not using them
  • Always make sure your fridge door is closed properly
  • To save fuel: Try and join a lift club to work

Africa Month

This month of awareness with planned activities is in aid of promoting African unity. Their theme for this year is, “Building a better Africa and a Better World”

International Multiple Sclerosis Month

During this month the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (MSF) tries to raise awareness of the condition, also known as MS.

Anti-Tobacco Campaign Month

Bringing awareness to the health issues caused by smoking and tobacco.

1 May: Workers Day

International Workers Day is a public holiday that celebrates the laborers and working class. This ensures that each government remains committed to providing safe and good working conditions for their employees. Ashanti Lodge Travel Centre and Backpackers in Cape Town have done a fantastic job of training their staff and integrating several of the methodologies put forward by Theta into sustainable and regular workshops where their hospitality staff are regularly trained and kept up to date with local events as well as hospitality performance exercises.

3 May: World Press Freedom Day

This is a day to pay tribute to journalists. The day also is a celebration of the principles of press freedom and a day to look at or assess the current press freedom throughout the world.

4 May: Star Wars Day


This day is for fans to celebrate Star Wars and the creator George Lucas. The day is not really an official one, but has spread quickly through the media to many areas. The day or Month was chosen as a Pun, “May the Force be With You” as “May the Fourth be With You”

10 May: World move for health day

This day is to help to develop strategies to help improve diet, exercise and health. It aims to encourage South African’s to take responsibility for their own health and well-being.

12 May: World Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome Day, International Nurses Day, Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Day: To bring awareness that this is a chronic and serious medical condition.

International Nurses Day: A day that celebrates the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale and the dedication and hard work that all nurses perform every day.

Fibromyalgia Day: Each year people try to spread awareness of this condition as well as other chronic pain conditions through events and other ventures.

15 May: International Day of Families

The UN decided that every year on this day should be International Day of families. The day is to help increase the awareness of family issues and to help improve family related problems.

17 May: World Hypertension Day

This has become an annual event since 2005 in aid of promoting awareness of hypertension and to encourage everybody to find ways to help prevent and control the problem.

18 May: International Museum Day

Co-ordinated by the International Council of Museums, the day is to bring awareness to the fact that museums are an important means of cultural exchange, peace and cooperation amongst people.

21 May: World Day for Cultural Diversity

A day that provides awareness and an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity. To help everybody to live together in harmony.

21 May: International AIDS Candlelight Memorial

This day is made possible by a global group of people living with HIV. The Memorial is a campaign to bring awareness and to raise social consciousness about HIV and AIDS.

22 May: International Day for Biological Diversity

This day was created to bring awareness and understanding to biodiversity issues.

23 May: World Turtle Day

A day to bring attention to turtle and tortoises and to help increase knowledge and respect and to encourage action to help them survive and increase.

28 May: International Day of Action for Women’s Health

The main focus is to bring awareness and protection to the sexual and reproductive health of Women.

31 May: World No Tobacco Day

The day focuses on the dangers of tobacco and everybody is encouraged to not smoke for a 24 hour period from all forms of tobacco consumption.

Regular staff training in hospitality approaches with regards to clients and guests is a win/win/win situation for employer, employee and guests alike. Please feel free to contact us should you require any further information regarding training materials.