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A boost for tourism with more chefs for the Cape
A boost for tourism with more chefs for the Cape
The tourism talent pipeline received a boost this week as the National Youth Chefs Training Programme commenced a series of provincial  graduations. The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Fish Mahlalela, officiated at graduation ceremonies and welcomed the new graduates into this dynamic sector. Fifty eight graduates from the Eastern Cape and 35 graduates from the Western Cape received their qualifications as Chefs over the last week, with more provinces scheduled for November 2019 and January 2020.

The aim of the training interventions is to address the skills shortage within the Tourism Hospitality Industry as well as to provide learners with accredited training programmes that will enable them to obtain credits towards further studies. This will increase the pool of skilled labour within industry and create temporary jobs for unemployed people through implementation of EPWP - focusing on the youth, women and people with disabilities thus contributing towards poverty alleviation through the payment of stipend.

The Department of Tourism, through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), is continuously training young people between the ages of 18-35 in various fields within the Tourism and Hospitality sector. “As a country, we are faced with the high unemployment rate especially among the youth. Hence, this ambitious government intervention to strengthen youth empowerment programmes to address this anomaly. Celebrating 25 years of Democracy, we should be proud that tourism plays a major role in improving the quality of life of our people, through our various initiatives including the one we are celebrating today,” said the Deputy Minister.

Launched in 2011, the NYCTP is a 10-month training course which comprises of 30% theory and 70% work integrated learning. The NYCTP is recognised globally for its positive impact and outcomes. The programme is implemented by the South African Chefs Association (SA Chefs) and it is accredited by City and Guilds. During training, the beneficiaries were introduced to the fundamentals, core and electives unit standards of Professional Cookery. This qualification is recognised by all cookery or food related sectors in South Africa. 

Proud parents expressed their gratitude to the Department of Tourism for this opportunity and admiration to the graduates for their commitment. “I am so proud of our children for not letting their circumstances define them,” said Martha Tabisher, a proud parent at the Western Cape graduation. Graduates could not contain their excitement and valedictorian for the Western Cape, Nathan Clark says his participation in the programme has been a life-changing experience. 

“A skilled workforce and excellent service will enhance South Africa’s competiveness in this industry and enhance the visitor experience,” says Alderman James Vos, member of the Mayoral Committee for Economic Opportunities for the City of Cape Town. He further added that the City of Cape Town welcomed this initiative. 

“Today, I am proud to announce that since its inception in 2011, the National Youth Chefs Training programme has given hope to 2 072 learners. Seventy two percent of those graduates are employed permanently, with the rest in temporary assignment, further training or pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities in the tourism value chain nationally. And there is nothing more powerful than to invest in young energetic minds that are willing to participate and contribute towards a better and inclusive future,” the Deputy Minister added. 

Representing host employers, Jonathan McGlashen from Vincent SuperSpar in the Eastern Cape and Ryan Cole from the Salsify Kitchen Group said the learners are ready to be permanently employed and appealed to other establishments to employ them. 

Deputy Minister Fish Mahlalela concluded: "We have given you the skills. Tourism has opened doors for new opportunities for you and today you are reaping the fruits of what you have planted. Enjoy it".


Mr Blessing Manale
Chief Director: Communications
Department of Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)12 444 6607
Cell: +27 (0)66 487 8867