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National Youth Chefs Training Programme

 National Youth Chefs Training Programme


The National Youth Chefs Training Programme (NYCTP) was created in a unique partnership between the National Department of Tourism (NDT) and SACA to address the urgent need for cooks and chefs in South Africa’s growing hospitality industry.

The programme was started to avoid a critical shortage of chefs with the skills necessary to be employed, and succeed, in the hospitality industry. With this in mind,

SACA was tasked to engage and educate young, unemployed people, who had the interest and drive to work as chefs in the hospitality industry.

This pilot project, which began in April 2011, enlisted 800 students in a programme that was designed to provide students with both theoretical and practical training.

All students studied the City & Guilds Certificate in Food Preparation and Cooking (Culinary Arts) 7065 – 31 SAQA ID 73295. 500 new students will be selected to enter the certificate course in 2012 and 300 students from the pilot group will be selected to take part in an advanced City & Guilds Diploma in Food Preparation and Cooking (Culinary Arts) 7065 – 32 SAQA ID 73289.

Out of the 800 students that signed up for the first course, 717 students completed the certificate course, with 75%of the students passing.

Out of those that passed, 35% did exceptionally well, earning a merit or distinction. Due to this success, NDT invested a further R40 million into the second year of the programme, which commenced at the beginning of 2012.

The programme places high emphasis on training in outlying areas, ensuring that it is available in all nine provinces. 26 SACA-accredited culinary schools have taken an active part in the creation and success of the programme, overcoming challenges and swiftly adapting to system requirements.

Benefits of the programme

The students have expressed that this opportunity has improved their self-worth and has given them a focus and direction in life. As the students find a positive career path, they often feel less despondent and start to embrace the prospect of an exciting future.

Students have been using the experience to set up their own businesses or to continue working in the establishments that hosted them during the programme. Some wonderful success has been achieved by several students who participated in the programme. For example Tlali Masakala joined KFC as a chef after completing the NYCTP programme in 2011, and from there entered into and achieved second place in the highly coveted Nestle Golden Chefs Hat competition later that year.

Another NYCTP student, Kagisho McDonald Nobengula entered and won the Unilever Food Solution’s ‘Sauce of Inspiration’ competition, winning a R20 000 study bursary to further his studies and pursue a course in confectionary and pastry. Kagisho passed his City & Guilds exam with a distinction.


Since its launch in 2011, the NYCTP has received 16,000 CVs, interviewed 8,000 candidates, engaged 1,760 in the programme of whom almost 1,400 have completed the programme with a certificate, diploma and advanced diploma - achieving a pass rate of 82%. 

Over 700 of our graduates have taken up full-time employment to date and we are sure that you too will be reporting back on your success in the job market very soon, after collecting your certificates and diplomas today.

The statistics for the 3rd year 2013/2014 , i.e. Phase 3 can be summarised as follows:

Started on day 1  887 Students
By December 44 had dropped out already leaving 843
Ended the complete course by 30 June 2014 773
Absent on day of final exam  14         Leaving   759
Passed the final exam  622          82%
Pass   199
Pass with Merit 275         
Pass with Distinction with Merit and Distinction  148                                  44%   Total 68%
Yet to complete the qualification     41  (mainly having failed the Health and Safety exam​,
and will rewrite in Nov 2014)

herefore, we now have 581 new, qualified junior chefs entering the industry.

​NYCTP Graduation planner - September 2014

​Sunday ​Monday ​Tuesday ​Wednesday ​Thursday ​Friday Saturday
​​​ ​ ​1 ​2 ​3 ​4 ​5 ​​6​
@ Wits Sports Centre
Swiss Hotel School
FBI Pastry
Capitel Hotel School
I.H.S Sandton
​7 8 9 ​10 ​11 12 13
@ Durban City Hall
I.H.S. Durban
1000 Hills Chefs School
Fusion Cooking School
Zen Africa
Alfresco International Academy
East London

(School to advise if the date is suitable)

@Venue to be confirmed
Chez Gourmet
I.H.S Cape Town
Silwood School of Cookery
Butlers Hotel School
(School to advise if the date is suitable)
​14 ​15 ​16 17 18 19 ​20
Food & Beverage Institute
(School to advise if the date is suitable)

​Ikusasa School of Cooking
Riebeek West
(School to advise if the date is suitable)

​​Francois Ferreira Academy
@Wilderness Hotel
Royal Bafokeng Institute
(School to advise if the date is suitable)

MRTT Hotel Academy
(School to advise if the date is suitable)
Boland College 
(School to advise if the date is suitable)
Mafikeng Hotel School
(School to advise if the date is suitable)
​21 22 23 ​24 ​25 26 ​27
(Venue to be confirmed)
Waterberg FET College
Petit Pois Chefs Acacemy
Vhembe FET College
(School to advise if the date is suitable)
​28 29 30 ​Institute of Culinary Arts
(School to advise if the date is suitable)