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Young chefs cook up a storm

Written by Noluthando Motswai
When the National Youth Chefs Training Programme (NYCTP) began in April 2011 it attracted 800 students. The programme provides  theoretical and practical training.

Students who enrolled in the programme at  first-year level completed a City and Guilds Certificate in Food Preparation and Cooking (Culinary Arts) and in the second year, on successfully completing the course, they could enrol to complete a City and Guilds Diploma in Food Preparation and Cooking.

For the first time in 2013, the NYCTP trained third-year students.

Those who made it into third year could complete an Advanced Diploma in Food Preparation and Cooking and learn leadership and management skills, as well as menu and recipe development and more specialised cooking skills.

On completing their third year, the NYCTP graduates will have the skills and experience necessary to enter a junior management role.

Department of Tourism Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe recently attended the graduation ceremony held for 89 NYCTP learners who participated in KwaZulu-Natal.

“The various training and development initiatives undertaken by the department continue to enhance and develop skills among young people and enable them to acquire knowledge which allows them to become productive participants in the economy of the country”, said the Deputy Minister.

The department approved the training of 577 learners from all provinces in culinary skills from June 2015 April 2017.

During the training period learners were placed at various hospitality establishments across the country for workplace training.

The South African Chefs Association Senior Vice President Allister Esau said 1 787 qualified chefs took part in the programme thanks to the Department of Tourism.

Esau reported that the class of 2016/17 achieved a 90 percent pass rate in all levels of study.

Out of the 1 500 chefs that graduated from the NYCTP between 2011 and 2016 about 62 percent are permanently employed, 20 percent are continuing their studies and the rest are being assisted to find employment in their chosen field.

Applications for the 2018/19 programme will be advertised next year. For more information visit www.saca.co.za

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