Minister Tokozile Xasa attends graduation of young chefs in Eastern Cape

Minister Tokozile Xasa attends the Eastern Cape for the graduation of the National Youth Chef Training Programme

Today saw the last leg of the nation-wide graduation of young chefs who are part of the Department of Tourism's National Youth Chefs Training Programme (NYCTP), held in the Eastern Cape.

Prior to conferring graduates with the qualifications, the Minister of Tourism Tokozile Xasa visited the newly built Cecilia Makiwane Hospital in Mdantsane, where she was extremely impressed by the new state of the art kitchen in the hospital. She urged the management of the facility to consider offering employment opportunities for some of the trainee chefs who ware graduating in Mdantsane.

She also encouraged the hospital management to work cooperatively with the Mdantsane residents to establish step down facilities.

Residents can open their homes for a fee, to recovering patients to be housed in homes in the neighbouring areas, as opposed to the hospital, which in turn will promote business opportunities and create wealth for the community of Mdantsane.

Congratulating the 44 graduating chefs, Minister Xasa urged the graduates to uplift their communities by focusing on not only being employed, but creating jobs which in turn would empower them to be part of the wealth of the country.

She also encouraged them not to limit themselves to their confined backgrounds, but to think beyond the borders of their communities.

We are investing in our youth as a government in order for them to become global citizens. The department has partnered with various stakeholders in the industry to continue to support graduates, especially those who want to have their own businesses and employ other young people, said Minister Xasa.

The NYCTP is a R74 million programme funded by the National Department of Tourism and implemented by the South African Chefs Association to train and develop unemployed youth between the ages of 18 and 35 years in the skills of the culinary arts.

The programme was first piloted in 2011 for a period of 10 months, where a total of 800 young South Africans enrolled in the City and Guilds Certified qualification in Food Preparation and Cooking. Phase two of the programme commenced in the 2012/2013 financial year.

Tourism is hard at work to improve the quality of life of our people. The department's Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) is one of the vehicles used to help realise the objectives of the Human Resources Skills Strategy.

Through the EPWP, the department is able to respond to the challenges of expanding our economy whilst providing increased employment opportunities.

The provision of employment opportunities will contribute to the NDPs vision of creating 11 million jobs by 2030, concluded the Minister.

Speaking on behalf of the host employer, Jonathan McGlashan, one of the owners of the SuperSpar Vincent and Southernwood, congratulated the graduates and advised them to take advantage of the opportunities offered by this training. He also acknowledged the role played by the government in providing skills in this sector.

To you the graduates, you have been given a gift, a skill set that can change your life, take you around the world as many previous graduates have done. What you do with is opportunity is up to you and only you can turn the skills you have been given into a career that will change your lives forever, he said.

The ceremony was followed by an Imbizo, where the community of Mdantsane had an opportunity to communicate challenges they face, which included lack of employment.

Source: Government of South Africa

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