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“Knowledge becomes wisdom only after it has been put to good use,” said Mark Twain. The Department of Tourism today hosted a graduation ceremony for beneficiaries of its Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) project in Vereeniging, Gauteng.
The Skills Audit conducted in the development of the 2017 Tourism Sector Human Resource Development Strategy, revealed that career progression in the tourism sector is slow. On average, an employee remains in one position for 7 to 12 years. The contributing factor to the slow career progression in the tourism sector is attributed to the lack of formal education for many tourism employees. The majority of Tourism employees do not possess an NQF Level 1. The RPL project seeks to address the challenge of slow career progression in the tourism sector, targeting the Chefs profession.
Further to that, RPL recognises knowledge and skills gathered by those who have worked for years without any formal qualification and training. This programme is one of the departmental transformation initiatives which aim to accelerate the redress of the past unfair discrimination in education, training and employment. The process involves the identification of knowledge and skills already acquired, have this assessed and formally acknowledged.
The Department of Tourism realises that it has potential learners in the sector who have for many years been fulfilling various roles within companies and who have not received any recognition for such experience against qualifications and unit standards registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). Nor have learners been granted the opportunity to compare their knowledge and skills gained in previous training against the current registered qualifications on the NQF.
The Department piloted the RPL project for Chefs in the 2021/22 financial year. The main objective of the programme is to recognise the prior learning of Chefs and to award relevant occupational qualification and designations. The programme is important in that it will allow beneficiaries to seize career growth opportunities in the sector and in return, improve their mobility in the workforce. The programme also supports skills development in the context of the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan.
In November 2021, the first intake of the pilot was rolled out in Gauteng with 30 candidates going through the RPL process. Fourteen (14) are to be awarded designations by the South African Chefs Association which is a recognised professional body for the chefs. Thirteen (13) took a trade test and will be awarded an Occupation Certificate: Chef NQF Level 5 (ARPL) qualification through the NDS Chefs Academy, an accredited trade test centre.
The Department extends its heartfelt congratulations to the 27 graduates and wish them growth and progression in their careers.
FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES:
Ms Susan de Bruin
Director: External Communications
Department of Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)12 444 6605
Cell: +27 (82) 921 7303