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Culinary crop
Mr Marthinus van Schalkwyk, Minister of Tourism

​The shortage of skilled young chefs in the tourism sector may soon be a thing of the past as students graduate from the National Department of Tourism’s National Youth Chefs Training Programme (NYCTP). Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk today officiated as 60 young chefs were awarded City & Guilds certificates in Food Preparation and Culinary Arts at a graduation ceremony held in Cape Town.

The 60 graduates successfully completed the second phase of the NYCTP, which is designed to provide theoretical and practical culinary training in the art of preparing world-class cuisine. Upon completing the three-year programme, the students will be awarded diplomas, qualifying them as professionals who would be able to compete with some of the best chefs in the world.

The National Department of Tourism’s National Tourism Sector Strategy has, among other things, identified a need to address skills shortages in the tourism sector by training and building the capacity of unemployed youth and graduates, particularly in critical and scarce skills in the hospitality and tourism services sector. To this end, the Department invested an amount of R39 million through government’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) to present a three-year training programme to 1300 unemployed youth between the ages of 18 and 34. The Tourism Department partnered with the South African Chefs Association (SACA) to implement the training programme through the 27 registered SACA culinary schools in all nine provinces. In the Western Cape, six service providers were appointed, namely Chez Gourmet, Capsicum Culinary Studio, Silwood Kitchen, and the Institute of Culinary Arts.

The NYCTP will ensure world-class service standards, promote South African indigenous cuisine and, at the same time, produce chefs who are able to compete with the best in the world. Last year, this unique partnership, which began in April 2011, enlisted 800 young people from all walks of life in South Africa. It is designed to provide the students with both theoretical and practical training to eventually take their place as fully fledged chefs in the hospitality industry in South Africa.
“The NYCTP enabled me to follow my passion; the programme has changed my life. I am so grateful to SACA and the Department of Tourism for this. It has exposed me to a new world and an exciting career path. I look forward to succeeding in the South African hospitality industry,” said Tlali Masakala, who received a special award for showing unique dedication during the training.

Minister Van Schalkwyk said: “The chefs programme forms part of the broader perspective of the National Tourism Sector Strategy, which addresses job creation and economic growth, as outlined in government’s New Growth Path. Through its social responsibility implementation programme, the National Department of Tourism is committed to facilitate skills development and to encourage a supply of skilled specialised human resources for the benefit of the hospitality industry.”

  • 800 learners enrolled nationally last year
  • 628 learners passed
  • 72 distinctions, 332 obtained merits
  • 91% national pass rate
  • Top students in the country
    • Diploma level – Sylvia Ntsindane, KwaZulu-Natal
    • Certificate level – Haadiya Abdullatief, Western Cape
  • Three provinces with highest pass rates: Limpopo – 97%; North West – 96%; Eastern Cape – 95%
  • Student placement in hotels:
    • 150 permanently placed                                 
    • 105 on contract employment        
    •  85 students registered with labour brokers          
    • A total of 340 learners employed
    • Five learners with disabilities included in those who completed the programme
 Ms. Melene Rossouw
Director: Media Liaison
Ministry of Tourism
Telephone: +27 (0) 21 465 7240
Fax: +27 (0) 21 465 3216
Cell: +27 (0) 82 753 7107
Trevor Bloem
Chief Director: Communications
Department of Tourism
Telephone: +27 (0) 12 444 6607 
Cell: +27 (0) 2 771 6729
Issued by The National Department of Tourism