De Lille welcomes Overstrand graduates to the tourism industry
In anticipation of Youth Day tomorrow (June 16), South African Minister of Tourism Patricia de Lille attended a youth graduation ceremony in Hermanus today, where 42 young people from the Overstrand municipality graduated from a Food Safety Quality Assurers Programme provided by the Department of Tourism.
“Days such as this excite me as we are making an investment into our tourism sector now and for the future. Our young people are not only the future, they are also the present jewels of our nation and we must do all we can to support them to overcome adversity and rise to their full potential,” said De Lille.
Some of the graduates have been able to secure employment at tourism and hospitality establishments such as Bientangs Cave, Biga Bakery, Best of Asia, Tolbos Bistro, AGS Gansbaai, Buitesteen and OK Foods.
The programme had 33 females and nine males.
The Minister also delivered an encouraging message to the graduates. “It does not matter what adversities and challenges you face, you can reach your goals and you can reach your full potential. It does not matter where you come from and how you grew up, it is about how you take up a cause, how you stand up against injustice and how, despite whatever may go wrong, you never give up and keep going to achieve your dreams.
“There is nothing you cannot do, there is no dream you cannot achieve. I simply say to anyone, if you have a goal, be prepared to work hard. When opportunities come your way, like this course for skills development for the tourism sector, grab it with both hands.”
Future youth programmes
For the 2023/24 financial year, the department has budgeted over R73 million (€3.6m) to train an estimated 1 696 learners in the various skills development programmes across all nine provinces.
This is an increase on the R69 million (€3.4m) spent on young people for tourism training programmes in the last financial year.
The budget is allocated nationwide for the five skills development programmes – the Food Safety Quality Assurers Programme, Food and Beverage Training, Chef/Professional Cookery, Wine Service Training, and Hospitality Youth Training (Fast Food Services) Programmes.
In the Western Cape, it was implemented in the Overstrand district with 21 learners recruited from Hermanus and 21 from Gansbaai. This course is also being implemented in all other provinces with 50 learners recruited for the three-month Food Quality Assurers Training and Wine Service Training in each province.
In addition, between 100 and 165 learners will also be recruited per province for 12-month courses in Hospitality Training, Food and Beverage Training, Food Service and Professional Cookery Training.
The programme is implemented under the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) wherein participants are paid a stipend and their training covers 30% of theoretical learning and 70% of the workplace exposure to acquire practical experience within the relevant workplaces.
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