A recent article on TireReview.com revealed that tire manufacturer and World Cup sponsor, Continental AG, will be extending their sponsorship efforts to include on-site tourist training for 26 South Africans from Soweto. These trained tourist guides would then be offered full time positions with Continental in South Africa after the conclusion of the games.
The article goes on to state that
the tourist guides will be 26 unemployed young men and women (chosen from 200 applicants) from in and around Soweto, one of the poorest areas in the country.
And Heinz-Gerhard Wente, head of human resources at Continental continues to state
“We want to give these 26 highly-motivated South Africans the opportunity to acquire new career prospects through our qualification program.”
From the brief description of the program it sounds like the 26 tourist guide positions will be primarily for guiding Continental’s guests during the games. These guests would likely include employees, executives, etc.
While 26 is not a significant number in a country where unemployment is a major problem, it’s a step (albeit small) in the right direction. The fact that Continental has basically promised that these tourist guides will be offered full time positions AFTER the games are over shows some foresight and commitment to leaving a good legacy which unfortunately, I haven’t seen/heard from many of the other sponsors.
What’s even more intriguing is that this isn’t a very market facing program/initiative since the guides will likely serve internal Continental constituents. They might gain from some small word-of-mouth marketing by participants and applicants but that seems like it would be minimal. However, it would be interesting to see if Continental puts some marketing spin onto this initiative in the lead up to the games in order to leverage its impact.
Does anyone smell reality TV show with these “trainees.”