ABSA has invested R1-million in the hospitality and tourism industry skills programme for women at the SA College for Tourism (SACT) in Graaff- Reinet.
The recipients of Absa's investment are young, rural women who are trained at the college and come from homes with a combined income of less than R30000 per annum.
Andre Kilian, executive director at SACT, said it trained 90 students a year from disadvantaged communities.
"These young women are mostly from rural areas and we give them training in the tourism industry for a year," he said.
Janine Masimela, 21, said the programme had changed her life.
"I was at the college last year and immediately after I finished my course I landed into a job.
"I am now working as an intern at Camdeboo National Park. I am very grateful to be chosen as one of the recipients of this investment," she said.
Claudene Alexander, 22, said the investment had helped as she did not have funds to go to college.
"I took a tourism course in high school and when my teacher presented me with the forms to apply to be part of this ... I grabbed the opportunity with both hands. I can proudly say I am now working as a reservations assistant and a receptionist at Knysna Hello," she said.
Gaynor Rupert, chairwoman of the college's board, said: "Absa's support of the SA College for Tourism commenced shortly after the college was founded in 2001.
"With the support of SANParks, these young women are given the opportunity to find positions for internships and employment after they achieve certification in hospitality services as conferred by the Central University of Technology and SA Education and Training Authorities."
The course covers financial management, accommodation, front-of-house, food and beverage, hospitality service skills, culinary art and life skills.