For more than 20 years the Protea Hospitality Group has been running two separate In-service Training Programmes in Hospitality Management and Professional Cookery respectively.

These two programmes result in externally recognised qualifications and more than 60% of our senior management, hotel general managers and executive chefs in the company today have come up through these ranks.


The objective of the In-Service Traineeship Programmes is to ensure that each individual receives in-service training, both practical and academic in accordance with the programme requirements, in order to obtain a qualification and to serve as a basis for a future career in hospitality.

PHIPD, and certain registered “Training Hotels” managed by our Company, facilitate the hospitality management programme in conjunction with regional hotel schools and the professional cookery programme in conjunction with regional culinary schools.

The two development programmes run by Protea Hotels are:

  1. Protea Hotels Hospitality Management Programme
  2. Protea Hotels Professional Cookery Programme


In order to be considered, applicants need to adhere to the following requirements:

  • be in possession of a Matric (Grade 12) certificate or equivalent NQF Level 4 qualification.
  • with English as a subject with a minimum rating level of 4 (50 – 59%)
  • preferably with Accounting and/or Mathematics as a subject with a minimum rating level of 4 (50 – 59%)
  • Prospective Trainees whom do not meet the subject requirement as listed above may still be considered, but only in the event that they have a higher than 50% result for each of their subjects
  • be over 18 years of age and not over the age of 23 years at the commencement of the course or turn older than 23 years old within their first year.
  • be willing to sign a contract
  • be a South African citizen
  • must have at least one year’s full-time employment in the hotel industry


How to gain the necessary experience in order to apply

The year of full time employment (experience in the industry) necessary in order to apply, can be gained by working in all the various functional areas of any hotel for a period of a year. This experience does not necessarily have to be gained by working for a Protea Hotel. However, some of our hotels do assist prospective Trainees to gain the experience necessary. In this case the prospective Trainee is referred to as an Orientation Trainee.

Please note that Protea Hotels does not recruit for, or place, Orientation Trainees with our hotels from a Protea Hotels Head Office perspective – this is a hotel level initiative. If you want to gain this experience necessary in order to apply through a Protea Hotel you can visit our website for a full list of our hotels. Contact hotels suitably located and enquire whether they take in Orientation Trainees. If they do you should apply to the hotel direct. Please ensure that you apply to more than one hotel to make sure that you are successful in finding placement.

You should find a position within a hotel by the end of January, in order to be able to apply by the 31st of August of the same year, for the 1st year intake in January of the following year.

Programme outline & duration

Each programme has a duration of three years and equips trainees with practical skills, theoretical knowledge and a broad understanding of the hospitality industry.

Trainees are placed with up to 3 (three) separate hotels, within the Protea Hospitality Group, during their In-Service Training. Trainees are transferred in order to gain the experience of working in different types of hotels (i.e. city centre, resort, country). The location at which a trainee may be placed is at the discretion of the Group Training Manager, although the trainees’ personal circumstances will be taken into account where possible.

Trainees will spend a minimum of 1 (one) year with a hotel before being transferred to a new hotel. Hotel transfers take place in January of each respective year and trainees are advised in early December where they have been placed for the following year.

Hospitality Management Trainees work in all the different departments of the hotel and Professional Cookery Trainees work in all the different sections that form part of, or contribute to, a hotel kitchen operation. This is to gain a practical insight into hotel operations.

The theoretical aspect of the industry is covered by study-release periods at Hotel or Culinary School as well as attending a number of short courses during each year. The trainees are also required to study and complete a portfolio of evidence in their own time.

A year with a hotel will be broken down as follows:

  • 43 (forty three) weeks of practical training in a designated Training Hotel
  • 6 (six) weeks block release period at a Hotel/Culinary School designated by the Protea Hotels Institute for Professional Development; and
  • 3 (three) weeks annual leave

Financial Contributions

The training hotel that the trainee is placed with on an annual basis is responsible to pay for the following:

  • A monthly stipend (basic salary) as prescribed by the Protea Hotels Institute for Professional Development;
  • The annual In-Service Trainee registration fee; and
  • The annual study fees due to the hotel/culinary school.
  • The trainee will be required to provide for and pay the following costs:
  • All expenses incurred in travelling to the training hotel you have been transferred to on an annual basis;
  • The trainee is required to arrange their own accommodation at their own cost; and
  • The trainee is responsible for their own transport (to and from work) and meals (during working

Workback Period

A work-back period upon completion of the three years of In-Service Training will apply. Trainees will be required to work for any Protea Hotel for a minimum of one year upon completion of their three year training programme.

Protea Hotels does not place trainees to complete their work-back year. Trainees need to seek and secure their own permanent employment in order to complete their work-back year. We encourage trainees to pursue a position they wish to start their career with.

It is rarely necessary to enforce the work-back obligation, but in the event that the trainee is unable to find suitable employment the trainee will be placed in any available position at any Protea Hotel. The trainee will only be released from their work back obligation should no vacancies within the group exist.

Application Procedure

Applicants must formally apply before the end of August of each year for the course commencing in January of the following year. No applications will be considered after the end of August.

All applications must be completed on the official Protea Hotels In-Service Traineeship Application Form in the applicants own handwriting.

Protea Hotels In-Service Traineeship Application Form

In addition, the application must be supported by:

  • A passport-sized photograph of the applicant
  • A certified copy of the applicants Matric (Grade 12) certificate or equivalent NQF Level 4 qualification
  • Cover letter & detailed Curriculum Vitae
  • Certified copies of school testimonials
  • Previous work reference letters (where applicable)

All applications should be addressed to:

Protea Hospitality Group (Pty) Ltd

Attention: PHIPD

PO Box 75

Sea Point


Applications may be scanned and e-mailed to Please ensure that if you e-mail your application that the scanned documents are of a good and visible quality.

Applicants should bear in mind that, although he/she may possess the required qualifications, the number of available places on each course is extremely limited and we would advise applicants to also apply to other suitable hotels/companies in order to avoid disappointment.

Additional Information

Should you require additional information please e-mail your query to: