The Department of Tourism today hosted a graduation ceremony for 30 beneficiaries of its Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) programme at the Limpopo Chefs Academy, Mokopane campus.
During the ceremony, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Fish Mahlalela congratulated the chefs for their tenacity and hard work in achieving their Occupation Certificates as Chefs (NQF level 5) accredited by the Quality Council for Trade Occupations (QCTO).
Recognition of Prior Learning is about the skills and knowledge that has been gained through work and life experiences. The Department conducted a skills audit and developed the Tourism Sector Human Resources Development (TSHRD) strategy in the 2016/17 financial year. The skills audit revealed that there is a lack of mobility and career progression in the workforce within the sector. The slow career progression for many tourism workers could be attributed to lack of formal training and education among other things.
The TSHRD strategy identified the implementation of RPL initiatives as an intervention to advance career progression and growth in the sector. The RPL programme was piloted in the 2021/22 financial year and identified employed and unemployed Chefs with experience, but no formal qualifications.
“The Recognition of Prior Learning process help these individuals acquire a formal qualification that matches their knowledge and skills, and thereby contribute to improving their employability, mobility, lifelong learning, social inclusion and self-esteem,” stated Deputy Minister Mahlalela
In the 2022/23 financial year, the programme was implemented in Limpopo Province. Thirty chefs were enrolled for a qualification with all 30 graduating successfully.
Limpopo Chef Thabiso Machoga spoke about his RPL experience, saying: “Ever since I've got into the culinary industry, it's been nothing but amazing, I've had the opportunity to learn a lot in this industry from different cuisines to different cultures and as they say we never stop learning! Even after graduation I intend to continue to learn and I'll always be grateful to the Department of Tourism.”
In the 2023/24 financial year the Department will select more provinces to implement the RPL programme.
“We as government, we play our part by introducing young people to accredited educational programmes that not only contribute to improved service levels, but will also assure an enhanced visitor experience and the sector’s sustainability. It is now in your hands to go and strive for yourselves. An investment in education pays best interest. I wish you well in your future,” concluded the Deputy Minister.
FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES:
Ms Susan de Bruin
Director: External Communications
Department of Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)12 444 6605
Cell: +27 (82) 921 7303
For additional information on the departmental skills development programmes:
Landline: 0860 868 747