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Title: Tourism graduate employability : stakeholder perceptions of workplace learning for graduate employment
Authors: Naicker, Daphanie 
Keywords: WIL;WPL;Perceptions;Attitude;Employability;Supervision;Success
Issue Date: 2017
With the accelerating growth in the tourism industry and its anchorage in the service-industry, the utilisation of people is a valuable resource for a tourism organisation. There are increased pressures on educational institutions from the government and the tourism industry to produce employable graduates. Thus, it remains imperative that tourism organisations have access to a pool of human resources that possess the required knowledge, skills and attitudes. As a result, educational institutions build workplace learning (WPL) into tourism curricula to ensure the transferability of skills and a smoother transition for all stakeholders into the tourism industry.

This study set out to determine the impact WPL has on a tourism student’s employability in the tourism industry. The literature highlights a number of key issues hindering the success of WPL for tourism graduate employability. These include, a lack of alignment of curriculum, supervision challenges and partnerships with the tourism industry.

Using a mixed methodological approach comprising both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, comparisons among stakeholders’ perceptions and attitudes were conducted. The stakeholders are: tourism graduates from 2011-2014, academic supervisors and workplace supervisors in the tourism industry.

Stakeholders’ perceptions of WPL structured the depth and sharpened understanding of the success as well as issues hindering the successful implementation of WPL and consequent unemployment. Among the main challenges were the placement of students and the inadequate feedback between stakeholders. The empirical findings underpinned effective communication as imperative in developing and maintaining quality partnerships for WPL. Among the many knock on benefits is the successful transfer of skills to tourism students. It is hoped that this research will contribute to the dearth of literature on tourism WPL and tackle salient gaps in tourism employability.
Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the Masters in Management Sciences: Tourism and Hospitality Management, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2017.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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