Further Hospitality & Tourism Management Studies Without Interruption

Study wihtout interruption

Upskill your staff with minimal interruptions to their busy work schedules.

The Growth Institute offers international Hospitality Management and Tourism Management qualifications from RQF level 3 to RQF Level 7.

Boot camps followed by online, off-campus studies make further studies time effective and cost effective.

Selected short courses are also available.

Act now and contact our Dean, Mrs. Lynn Duke, on 081 702 8022 to start your study program.



The True Cost of Training

In our practice, we often encounter views from employees who express their frustration with the fact that training is not regarded as being “part of the budget”. In other cases, requests for training are denied because companies see that as an unnecessary expense. Even when we deal with business managers when asked to propose a training program to them, the cost card or the budget card is played ever so often.

We agree in principle that companies have to be as frugal as possible in regards to expenditure. However, it remains somewhat of a puzzle why companies would diligently pay skills development levies but do not take action to leverage the recovery of the skills development levy through training.

Government’s skills development strategy puts emphasis on equipping as many people as possible with useful qualifications. There are specific directives in terms of tax rebates that can be claimed for training that leads to a qualification. In fact, the skills rebate model, if used properly, translated into the recovery of 80% or more of training costs.

SARS offers entry rebates and exit rebates on training programs that lead to a qualification.

Getting the entry rebate is relatively easy. The exit rebate, on the other hand, is linked to a qualification that must be achieved within a given period. Here lies the problem for many companies.

Not many learners actually finish a qualification. There are many reasons for learners not finishing what they started. The one reason that is in direct control of companies is the way employees are selected for training.

Companies who have strict selection criteria stand a greater chance to qualify for exit tax grants than those that simply want to tick a few compliance boxes.

For more details on optimising tax benefits, contact us for an appointment.

In Search of Readiness


School leavers need a bridging course before they can attempt to enrol at a university for a degree or diploma.  In addition, those who do not passed Grade 12 with at least a 70% average will NEVER be able to go to university.  Last, those who have only Grade 10 and Grade 11 are forever doomed to be part of a low paid and underqualified workforce.


Whilst it is true that not all school leavers cannot immediately enrol into a university program, there are options available to anyone who thinks that he/she will never be able to go to university.  In fact, anyone who cannot be admitted to a university today can indeed prepare him/her over a period of four years to obtain a professional qualification that will allow that person into a degree program.

Insufficient admission points at the end of Grade 12 do not mean all doors to tertiary education have closed irrevocably.  In addition, a person that passed Grade 10 or Grade 11 actually has an equal chance to obtain a university degree one day as long as they completed a professional qualification with an accredited institution such a Growth Institute.

Growth Institute’s Achiever Program© is linked to professional qualifications in Accounting and Business Administration.  This program allows students to qualify with a National Diploma (NQF 6) within three to four years.  After students obtained their National Diplomas, they can apply to a local university where the can enrol into a bridging program that steers them towards a B Com. Honours degree in Business Management.


The fact is that many students who are presently enrolled at university fall out in the first year.  They become discouraged and live with a belief that they will never be able to obtain a tertiary qualification.  This “Horde of Disillusionment” is one of the biggest contributors to skills shortages in South Africa.

However, students who first enrol into programs such a Growth Institute’s Achiever Program, stand and greater chance to obtain degrees after three to four years’ study at a lower level.  These students have a great sense of accomplishment and achievement.  In addition, they are valuable knowledge assets to an organisation because:

  1. They are often forced to study part-time
  2. They have an opportunity to link theoretical knowledge with practical experience while they study
  3. They are committed students and workers because they have more at stake than their peers who are full time students




There once was a man in Pennsylvania.  An ordinary man that made chocolates.  This man may not have made the best chocolates in the world.  In fact, the Mexicans, Belgians and the Swiss are far better at the art of chocolate making.

But the legacy of this man went far beyond chocolate.  He made a difference to a whole community.

Meet Milton

Milton Hershey 2

This man’s name was Milton Hershey.  He lived in Hershey Pennsylvania.  And, yes, he made Hershey chocolates.

Why talk about Milton Hershey?

Mr. Hershey was a businessman – the founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company.  And he was a far-sighted philanthropist.  Employees of his company had access to schools, hospitals and other community services that were all paid for by the Hershey Chocolate company.  In fact, Hershey, Pennsylvania is known as a “Company Town”.

Milton Hershey can be remembered as a person who invested in many aspects of a community.  From our perspective, we salute Milton S. Hershey for his investments in the schooling of Hershey employees and others.

So What?

Not a day goes by in South Africa where someone is not pointing to, what they say is, a failed state.

  • Government is expected to build more schools
  • Government is expected to improve the quality of education
  • Government must….
  • Government must….

For the last eighteen, Growth Institute has advocated that corporates should take more initiatives and replicate the efforts of Milton Hershey in Pennsylvania.  Although there are many CSI projects about, not many (if any) come close to the efforts of Milton S. Hershey.

Some say that a dream of our own, South African, “Hersheyville” is preposterous because it does not befit corporates to be that kind.  Others argue that it is simply impossible.  A third group emphatically states that one should not step in where Government seems to fail.  They argue that stepping in worsens the perceived education crisis instead of improving on it.  Of course a fourth group argues that such an idea is a colonial vestige of Apartheid and that such heresy needs to be eradicated to preserve “our Africanness”.

A Breath of Fresh Air

The criticism against efforts such as that of Milton Hershey almost let us give up on the hope that there is still hope for our weak education system.  Then, yesterday happened.  We had an appointment with a prospective new client.  This client is a big international corporation and we were stunned by the fact that they have been working on the same ideas as did Milton Hershey.  This prospective client does not make chocolates.  They are a big engineering firm who took up a challenge to make a difference in this country.

Being involved in a school and having built three academies from scratch in a relatively short time, signals that this company takes the upliftment of communities very seriously indeed.

They are what Francis Hesselbein refers to, a circular company.  In other words, this company exists in a community.  They recruit employees from the community and educate those in the community that do not have a fair chance in a failing school system.

Effect on Sustainability

In less than three years, this company started to see an improvement in the quality of their own workforce.  Staff is expected to participate in training program, and staff is expected to pass course well above the required pass mark for such course.

Those close to retirement age are given an understudy to make sure that years of knowledge is transferred.  In other words, a legacy of experience in ploughed back into the minds and actions of the next generation of workers.

In addition, workers are constantly ready to move into senior roles because the company spent their Skills Development Levy wisely so that succession plans hardly are scuppered by the non-availability of those who need to step into vacant positions.

In short, this company has built itself a sustainable pipeline to attract people that are willing and eager to learn and to make a difference in their own personal circumstances.

Thank you for your vision, Mr. Hershey

The Fear of Learnerships


Industry sentiments

  • “We feel cheated. They never deliver what they promise!”
  • “The certificates being issued are worthless.  It is just pieces of paper”
  • “Relieving critical skills shortages? Really?  Tell me something new!”

The reality

For a very long time, industries have been exposed to solutions that cost them more than the benefit they are supposed to harvest from it.  Thus, it is no wonder that industry is sceptical about learnership programs.  And rightly so!  Over the last 28 years, Growth Institute’s directors have gained valuable insights into the world of skills development.  We need to concur that there are operators out there that can, in the kindest form, be described as selfish profiteers.

Unfortunately, the actions of some have extremely negative effects on the Skills Development Community.  It is time to rethink the reality.

A threat to sustainability

It is a fact that the state of skills in South Africa puts organisational sustainability under threat because:

  • An unskilled workforce has limited opportunity for career advancement
  • An unskilled workforce is incapable of making critical decisions when faced with a situation that customers or managers rely  on them
  • Organisations are forced to appoint supervisors or managers “from the outside” – often at a great cost because there are simply no suitable internal candidates for positions.  In addition, “outsiders” often experience a long learning curve before they can start to add value to an organisation
  • Customers have little or no tolerance for anyone appearing to be incompetent despite having spent hours in the training room

A call to action


Organisations need to consider the outcome of any training program or skills development program carefully.  Not all programs lead to actual qualifications that are recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).  Programs that do not lead to an actual qualification often stand in the way of an organisation who wants to claim skills development rebates from the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

International Recognition

Next, many operators boast about “International Accreditation”.  This does not mean that such a qualification is better than a local version.  Unless SAQA lists the qualification and unless the qualification has not expired, skills development grants and SARS rebates may not be possible.  Thus, organisations are often disillusioned because what they were promised was not what they experience.


Organisations place candidates on a learnership program in the hope that such candidates will add knowledge value to the organisation.  Often, however, Growth Institute encounters candidates that do not have the basic scholastic aptitude to succeed on a learnership.  To ensure the best possible value for a learnership, a “Middle Down” approach may be appropriate.  In other words, give preference to current and future leaders.  Once that core is strengthened, expand the program into the rest of the organisation.  Clients who follow such “Middle Down” approach seem to identify operational inefficiencies quicker than those who follow a shotgun approach.

Linking a learnership to performance goals incentivise people more than simply being put in a training room.  One of our clients linked performance, promotions, salaries, bonuses to the degree of success that employees have on a learnership program.  For this client, the term “Bottom Ten Per Cent” has taken on a complete new meaning.  In fact, performance levels have increased by more than 75% over the least five years.


Organisations, who allow for the design and implementation of bridging programs that assist those with limited scholastic ability, reap greater rewards over time.  Often, the leap that a worker must make from his/her current position to a tertiary certificate or diploma is greater than the proverbial “Quantum Leap”.  Those who are not taken through a bridging intervention before attempting a first tertiary study simply fade away in the first few months.


Small adjustments to current or future learnership programs can make a world of difference!

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Removing The Uncertainty Principle

Ideal Recruit

Uncertainty about the right candidate in the right place and at the right time can force an organisation into a state of panic.  The “Draconic” labour laws in South Africa make it very difficult to correct recruitment mistakes later.

On 9 July 2015, Growth Institute will host a conference that will focus on equipping recruiters with the necessary skills to identify the right candidate for any given position.

Nowadays, recruiting has a direct impact on an organisation’s sustainability.  Far too many companies regret that they were not able to equip their recruiters with skills to discern between high potential candidates and those that seem to have a high potential but who eventually fizzle out.

Successful recruiting requires a number of disciplines to work together.

In recent times, the news bulletins were abuzz with reports of people faking qualifications or misrepresenting facts.  A good vetting solution is thus an important tool for any recruiter that takes the sustainability of an organisation seriously.  Background checks and vetting do not need to be elaborate or expensive.

Thus, it makes sense that the conference on 9th July will focus on introducing affordable vetting solutions to the market.

Book now by clicking on the image below:

Book Now

The Reality of Alternatives

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The Reality of Alternatives

Gone are the days that mainstream universities are the only post-school option.  It is time to take a hard look at the impact that a three-year to four-year academic hiatus has on the workplace.

A number of questions must be asked and answers must be found to ensure that South Africa remains competitively relevant on the African continent.

Speaking to parents, friend and observing Angst reports in the media, suggest that South Africa’s education system is beyond repair.

We are moving back to the Stone Age

Suggesting that the education system is beyond repair creates a feeling of utter despondence in the national psyche.  The tough pioneer spirit that so many South Africans claim to have is gradually fading because we believe that Government must have all the answers and we can simply sit back and wait for the Land of Milk and Honey to come to us.

Repairing the bridge

The reality is that the ailing school system cannot be overhauled overnight.  it will take years – even decades – to repair the potholes that peppers our primary and secondary education landscape.  to wait for the system to be repaired “someday, somehow” is to wait for the Land of Milk and Honey to waltz around the corner and to announce a brave new world.

A time for action

  • It is time to realise that not all school leavers meet the criteria to go to university.
  • It is time to realise that many who struggle at university should consider
  • It is time to realise that, although “all road lead to Rome”, some travellers are simply not suited for the highway.  They need a scenic route

What is the alternative?

There is tremendous pressure on making sure that graduates or diplomats are industry-ready when the leave the hallowed halls of academia. A reality in which academics and practical experience are intermixed becomes an alternative to consider – especially in the context of Scarce Skills Development.

Growth Institute specialises in providing alternatives to industry. Our diplomats are groomed to be work-ready for positions ranging from entry-level to middle management.

Take action

Contact Growth Institute for more information at http://www.growthinstitute.co.za