41 crockeries graduated under the Professional Cookery Programme in the Northern Cape hosted by the Department of Tourim and as part of welcoming summer.
The new cohort of graduates will populate the talent pool in the tourism value chain and will contribute within the sector amid the festive season that is a tourism peak-period.
Tourism is a vital contributor to the South African economy. With its extensive value chain and labour absorption capacity, it is acknowledged as a tool for economic development, playing a significant role in responding to the country’s socio-economic challenges. It is a sector that is people driven and we as a Department aim to create an environment for sustainable employment and economic growth.
The Professional Cookery Programme was a one-year programme targeting unemployed youth in the Northern Cape which aims to upskill and ensure employability within the hospitality industry. This programme commenced in 2021 and entails 30% theory and 70% workplace experiential training with graduates receiving a National Certificate in Professional Cookery accredited by Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports sector education and Training Authority (Cathsseta). Collaborative partnerships with industry stakeholders offering in-house practical training for learners, has contributed to the success of the initiative.
Graduates were excited to share their experiences about the programme. Bohlokoa Ntsau, 20 from Kimberly said: “I have grown in character and I’m more determined in pushing forward with my cookery career and I have a clear vision of my future.”
Modiegi Mmankgeli, 30 from Kimberly stated: “This programme gave me the chance to write my story again and have a new beginning as I was unemployed and impacted by the pandemic. I am thankful to the Department of Tourism for making my dreams come true.”
As we are entering the holiday period, we focus on excellent service and creating memorable experiences to meet and exceed the expectations of visitors. This talent boost enhances the Northern Cape’s tourism experience. The Department continues to advance the tourism and hospitality experience and reaffirms its commitment to training and development which will yield many happy returns and that will contribute to the tourism recovery plan. This intervention plays a major role in the tourism value chain.