Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
South African Tourism Call Centre E-Tools Facebook Twitter
Youth Chefs graduates to boost Western Cape Culinary Talent
Youth Chefs graduates to boost Western Cape Culinary Talent
Also known as the culinary capital of South Africa which blends the traditions of many diverse cultures and influences, the Western Cape recently added to its pool of the best culinary specialist, following the graduation of 61 Chefs who have successfully completed the   National Youth Chefs Training programme (NYCTP) .

Graduation ceremonies took place in Cape Town and George the past two days with graduates from across the province.  Deputy Minister of Tourism, Elizabeth Thabethe, proudly officiated these ceremonies, and conferred the accolades to the elated graduates. 

This event was attended by the proud parents of the graduates as well as the host employers. World renowned Chef Luke Dale-Roberts, owner of the acclaimed, Test Kitchen, in Cape Town was a host employer to three of the graduates. 

 “Youth unemployment in South Africa remains one of the most pressing challenges. To give expression to its mandate, the National Department of Tourism through the Expanded Public Works Programme and together with the South African Chefs Association, rose to this challenge. A unique partnership was formed with the launch of the National Youth Chefs Training programme (NYCTP) in 2011”, said the Deputy Minister.  

The programme is implemented by the South African Chefs Association (SA Chefs). 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.  This was evidenced when the Deputy Minister received the Ministerial Award in recognition of its achievements at the Global Summit of Women in Sydney, Australia in April this year. 

Since its inception, 2,000 aspiring young chefs have completed the programme and 72% of those secured permanent employment, in South Africa and abroad 

“The programme has inspired and opened our eyes to a a career which a few years ag , we understood little about . “If you are willing to work hard, you have a great future ahead of you. And this is great validation because cooking brings joy to someone everyday” said Chef Dale-Roberts, one of the graduates  

Addressing graduate chefs, Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe encouraged graduates to further capacitate themselves beyond their newly acquired NYCTP qualification to ensure their success in the industry. 

“Young people with no formal education are the most vulnerable and a lack of accredited skills and qualifications makes it even harder for them to secure employment. The National Youth Chefs Training programme acts as proof of the real and measurable impact that upskilling can have on South Africa’s young people by making it possible for them to be trained in the culinary field”, added the Deputy Minister. 

Proud parents expressed their gratitude to the Department of Tourism for this opportunity and gave their admiration to the graduates for their commitment. “Your hard work and perseverance pays off. I salute you all,” said a proud parent, Nicci Wyngarard to the graduates. 

“Amidst the high unemployment figures, government remains committed to investing in empowering the youth through skills development programmes to create employment opportunities” the Deputy Minister concluded.

A total of 61 chefs from the Western Cape: Cape Town (37) on 18 October 2018 and George (24), graduated today.  They are part of 488 learners from across the country who graduated as chefs and received certification accredited by City and Guilds during October 2018. These include a Certificate and Diploma in Food Preparation and Cookery.


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


About the South African Chefs Association (SA Chefs) 
The South African Chefs Association (SA Chefs) is a non-profit industry organisation that represents chefs,   cooks and caterers of all levels. Its core purpose is to maintain the highest level of culinary excellence, food standards and professionalism throughout South Africa, and to facilitate the transfer of skills. 

The next recruitment drive for the National Youth Chefs Programme will commence in February 2019 and prospective recruits should visit  or for more information.