The hospitality industry in South Africa is gaining its strides following the graduation of 27 Chefs in Vereeniging earlier this week, under the Department of Tourism’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) project.
RPL seek to address the slowness in the tourism sector career progression that is attributed to the lack of formal education for many tourism employees.
A Skills Audit in the development of the Tourism Sector Human Resource Development Strategy was conducted in 2017, revealing the slowness in the career progression of the tourism sector where on average, an employee remained in one position for over a decade.
Through the RPL project, the Department of Tourism seeks to address the challenge of slow career progression in the tourism sector, targeting the Chefs profession.
The RPL project was piloted by the Department for Chefs in the 2021/22 financial year with the objective to recognise the prior learning of Chefs and to award relevant occupational qualification and designations. The Gauteng Province started with its first batch of 30 candidates to go through the RPL process in November last year.
RPL also recognises knowledge and skills gathered by those who have worked for years without any formal qualification and training. This programme is one of the departmental transformation initiatives which aim to accelerate the redress of the past unfair discrimination in education, training and employment.
The process involves the identification of knowledge and skills already acquired, have this assessed and formally acknowledged.
“The Department of Tourism realises that it has potential learners in the sector who have for many years been fulfilling various roles within companies and who have not received any recognition for such experience against qualifications and unit standards registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).”
“We further recognize that learners not been granted the opportunity to compare their knowledge and skills gained in previous training against the current registered qualifications on the NQF.”
The RPL programme will allow beneficiaries to seize career growth opportunities in the sector and in return, improve their mobility in the workforce. The programme also supports skills development in the context of the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan.