By SYDNEY MORWENG
IN an effort to curb the unemployment rate in the country, the National Department of Tourism has allocated R25 million in the 2010/2011 financial year to the National Youth Chefs Training Program.
The program launched today at the HTA School of Culinary Art, in Randburg by the Minister Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, is one of the programs to be rolled-out in partnership with private sector and government.
Chefs training program will equip 800 young South Africans across the country to become qualified and professional chefs upon completion.
The targeted youths ranging from 18 to 35 with matric qualification but jobless, will learn basics of cookery and hospitality from the South African Chefs Association (SACA) team.
“This program encapsulates a number of elements that are of particular importance to the continued growth and success of the tourism sector in South Africa. This is meant for job creation which is priority for government and tourism sector.”
The foundation of this programme is training and skills development in which Professional Cookery or qualification as a professional Chef has been identified as scarce skill in the country,” says the Minister.
SACA is a professional culinary association with a proven track record of over 25 years’ experience with more than 4000 members throughout the country found in every type of professional catering, five established branches in the country and access to more than 50 training providers.
Chief executive at SACA Steven Bellingam fitted in his chef attire sounded like a poet as he wished all the students well in their chosen career.
“Since the establishment of this program some year’s ago, we knew what were the objectives and mandates for us to partner with government. And today we’re celebrating with our students who are going to make their country proud by becoming ambassadors,” says Bellingham.
“You’re like rock stars, because every food to be prepared will determine who you are. Whether it’s succulent and sumptuous that would be your call.
Its time to get those sleeves rolled-up and begin messing up the kitchen, mates,” he said much to the applause and whistling from the students. The Minister also followed suit.
Asked how and where to obtain more information to join the program, he said one has to enquire at hospitality school’s in their respective areas or visit tourism authorities.
A thrilled 22 year-old Mpho Montsho from Tembisa said she was looking forward to the program and learn more on cookery, and what the hospitality industry has to offer,” she opined joyfully.
NDT will fund the project through its EPWP program through all nine provinces from 2011 to 2013.
Although no dates were confirmed, as in when will the intakes in other provinces will take place, according to the department’s Chief Director Bulelwa Seti this will be communicated soon as they have finalized talks with training services in respective areas.
“Because we want everything to function efficiently as possible, we’re putting all stops to ascertain that our students understand the importance and value of being part of this program,” she said.
According to the latter, the program will take six months of training with one day class attendance and four days of practical.
The students will be trained in the National Certificate of Professional Cookery NQ4, in the first phase, and the second phase will receive training for National Diploma of Professional Cookery NQ5, before being placed with various hospitality establishments for extensive hands-on training.
The following number of students will be trained per province:
N. Cape 30
Eastern Cape 60
W. Cape 180
North West 30
Free State 30