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National Youth Chefs Training Programme

National Youth Chefs Training Programme

The National Youth Chefs Training Programme keeps on soaring; changing the lives of young unemployed people and providing our hospitality industry with a skilled workforce.

NYCTP was created in a unique partnership between the National Department of Tourism (NDT) and the South African Chefs Association (SACA) to address the urgent need for cooks and chefs in South Africa’s growing hospitality industry. This programme forms part of the National Government’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) as an initiative to fund skills development projects to create employment.

In line with this, SACA was tasked to engage and educate young, unemployed people, who have the interest, drive and aptitude to work as chefs in the hospitality.

The pilot programme, which began in April 2011, enlisted 800 students in a platform that is designed to provide learners with both theoretical and practical training. The Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk and the NDT have been inspired and excited about this programme that makes a positive impact in the fight against unemployment, as well as answers a critical need in the development of our hospitality and tourism industry.

“In Government we work with budgets, policies and policy documents, and I know that a lot of people look at us and wonder what it achieves. Does it change lives? When I look at this program [NYCTP] I am convinced that this is a programme that will touch the lives of many people,” said Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk during his speech at the launch of NYCTP.

All students who enroll in the programme at a first year level will complete a City & Guilds Certificate in Food Preparation and Cooking (Culinary Arts) and in the second year, on successfully completing the course, can enroll to complete a City & Guilds Diploma in Food Preparation and Cooking.

For the first time ever, in 2013, NYCTP will be training students at a third year level. The students that make it into the third year will complete an Advanced Diploma in Food Preparation and Cooking and will learn leadership and management skills, as well as menu and recipe development and more specialised cooking skills. On completing their third year, these NYCTP graduates will have the skills and experience necessary to enter a junior management role.

The programme runs in all nine provinces, and 26 SACA-accredited culinary schools have taken an active part in the creation and success of NYCTP. In addition to the solid theoretical training the students – in first, second and third year – gain valuable practical experience in restaurant, hotel and resort kitchens across the country.

SACA and the NYCTP team look forward to welcoming the 800 students to the programme this year.   



SACA and the Ministry of Tourism joined forces to train 800 new Chefs

  At the recent launch of the National Department of Tourism Youth Training programme, Martinus van Schalkwyk, Minister of Tourism said The National Department of Tourism relies on capable and recognised organisations as partners and they are pleased to be working with the South African Chefs Association on this initiative. “We believe that this partnership will provide the trainees with the skills, knowledge and experience to gain sustainable employment in the hospitality and tourism industry and one day become leaders and innovators in their own right.”;said van Schalkwyk

In addition to job creation, which is a key priority of Government, the foundation of the Food Preparation and Culinary Arts certificate programme is training and skills development. Qualified, professional chefs have been identified as a scarce skill in South Africa.

“ The programme is specifically focused on young people. We all recognise that job creation is of particular importance to our youth,” said Minister van Schalkwyk. The National Department of Tourism has partnered with the South African Chefs Association for this initiative. President of SACA Stephen Billingham stresses that there is a strong economic empowerment element to the programme as SACA hat to identify some emerging cookery schools in the rural areas and help them to build capacity and fast-track in terms of infrastructure and development. SACA has never before been in the position to give schools this opportunity. All 27 schools identified were personally visited to ensure that they are compliant in terms of theoretical and practical training. To this end SACA developed national resource standards for the training programme, as well as learner resources an measurement tools. Each participating school also has to be accredited by City & Guilds in the United Kingdom and has to have the required number of craft trainers.


Content of the programme

A total of R 25m will be invested in the 2010/2011 financial year. 800 South Africans between the ages of 18 and 35 with a matric qualification will be trained in this level 3 Certificate Programme.


SACA’s involvement

The Buzz around the SACA stand at the Department of Tourism’s career day in 2009 started discussions around the idea of a Youth Training Programme. Together with SACA a certificate in culinary arts, which is registered with City and Guilds in the UK was developed which will enable students to work anywhere in the word upon completion.

A pilot programme was introduced at SACA’s Centre of Culinary Excellence late last month. Other training providers which form part of the programme are: Swiss Hotel School; HTA School of Culinary Art; Capital Hotel School; Silwood Kitchen;  Institute of Culinary Arts, butlers Hotel School, 1000 Hills Chefs school; fusion Cooking School; Capsicum, International Hotel School, School of Culinary art, alfresco Academy of food and the Centre of Culinary Excellence.

Each school will train an average of 32 students made up of 2 groups of 16 each.