by Peter Leuns

Tourism benefits the youth

Young chefs receive sommelier training

Tourism minister adds value to students
Young sommeliers receive training

Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk extended the National Department of Tourism’s Youth Chef training programme to include a programme for sommeliers or wine stewards.

In order to address scarce skills within the country, each sector has been tasked to identify and assist with the development of the skills most needed.

Sommelier skills have been identified as a scarce skill, prompting the National Department of Tourism to invest  a sum of R11million in the form of a 12-month training programme. The programme is made available to 200 unemployed youth between the ages of 18 to 34, in partnership with the Cape Wine Academy.

“I am also delighted to note that the Cape Wine Academy has signed up some of the best hospitality lecturers, including Cape wine masters Lizette Tolken and Derek Ramsden, to ensure that the students get the best education to enable them to compete professionally anywhere in South Africa and the world,” says van Schalkwyk.

The sommelier programme forms part of the broader perspective of the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS), which addresses the need for job creation and economic growth, as outlined in government’s New Growth Path. The Department of Tourism is committed, through its Social Responsibility Implementation programme, to facilitate the development of skills and encourage a supply of skilled manpower that will benefit the local hospitality industry.

The 12-month training programme incorporates four six-week practical work segments in the wine industry. For the first practical, which has now been completed, distributors and wholesalers took in learners. These practicals will also include front of house training in restaurants, retail outlets and hotels.

The private sector should try to support and enhance the programmes of the department. Van Schalkwyk thanked companies for the important role they have played in the development and promotion of tourism.

“It is well known that the private sector bears the major risks of tourism investment, as well as a large part of the responsibility to satisfy tourists. Through its training programmes, government is committed to encouraging the further growth, development and profitability of the tourism private sector by providing already-trained staff, such as these sommeliers, who are immediately able to fulfil a productive role in the hospitality sector,” the minister concluded.

comments powered by Disqus


This edition

Issue 58