The Department of Tourism has launched a number initiatives aimed at getting the youth involved in the tourism sector.
The Tourism Buddies programme is an experiential hospitality training programme that targets unemployed youth to enable them to acquire skills and gain work experience to enhance employability in the hospitality and tourism sector.
Deputy Minister Tokozile Xasa says during the 2015/16 financial year, the department enrolled 2 950 learners for the National Certificate Food and Beverages NQF Level 4; and National Certificate Accommodation Services NQF Level 2.
The department also runs the sommelier programme that sees young people trained in wine service.
“In the 2015/16 financial year, 270 learners were enrolled in the Wine Service Training Programme. Of these 243 learners graduated and 187 were women,” said Deputy Minister Xasa. She said the Wine Service Training Programme is implemented under the department’s social responsibility initiative.
“The programme responds to the main objectives of the National Skills Development Strategy III, which encourages and actively supports the integration of workplace training, with theoretical training and places great emphasis on relevance, quality and sustainability of skills training programmes to ensure that they impact positively on poverty reduction and inequality.”
South Africa does not have many qualified sommeliers and it is considered a very scarce skill.
“This training involves pairing food and wine. The aim and objective of this programme is to skill the unemployed youth to make sure they are employable within the hospitality sector.”
The department also runs the National Youth Chefs Training Programme, which ensures world-class service standards, promotes South African indigenous cuisine and produces globally competitive chefs who are able to compete with the best in the world.
“In the 2015/16 financial year, the department enrolled 577 learners for the Professional Cookery qualification, some were specialising in pastry. There will be 470 learners graduating and 405 of them are women.”
DID YOU KNOW?
More than a million tourists arrived in the country in the first quarter of 2016.