The Department of Tourism today held a graduation ceremony to acknowledge youth who successfully completed the Food Safety Quality Assurers training programme. The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Fish Mahlalela warmly welcomed the new cohort of 108 graduates that will populate the talent pool of this scarce skill in the tourism value chain.
“As government, our approach to the skills revolution is to assist the youth to upskill and future-proof themselves in the light of the fast-changing work environment. Through our training programmes, we are able to contribute to mitigating the impact of the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality,” said Deputy Minister Mahlalela.
The Department’s one-year programme entails 30% theory and 70% workplace experiential training. Graduates receive a National Certificate in Food Safety Quality Assurers, NQF level 4 (116 credits) accredited by FoodBev SETA and CATHSSETA, helping to kick-start their career in the sector.
Graduates were excited to share their experiences about the Food Safety Training Programme. Simphiwe Mankayi (42) from Bonnane in Vanderbijlpark participated in the programme to develop his skills further after he had been retrenched from the hospitality industry during the pandemic.
“It is not only about the certificate that will open doors for me, but also the experience and knowledge I acquired. The programme helped me to develop my skills further, and now I know better when it comes to food services and hospitality industry as a whole. It was not easy at first but through the support from the Department of Tourism staff members and program implementer KTMS, I managed to complete the programme,” said Mankayi.
In terms of skills development and the certificate, 33-year old Nelisiwe Tshabangu from Sunnyside in Tshwane said: “There are lots of hospitality opportunities in the country and I know with this certificate, I will be able to be employed.”
The 34-year old Nompumelelo Mahlangu from Kiblerpark in Johannesburg stated: “I have been in the hospitality industry for fifteen years without the relevant qualification. This programme has helped me, because I will now have a certificate to compete in the job market.”
The Food Safety Assurer’s graduation took place ahead of this week’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) that is poised to encourage an inclusive and proactive integration of all in growing the country’s economy under the theme – ‘Leave no one behind.’ The Department of Tourism remains committed to providing training and development programmes that will drive the inclusive transformation and grow the sector. Youth are encouraged to visit www.tourism.gov.za to learn more about the skills programmes that are currently being advertised.
“According to the UNICEF report, governments and businesses are being urged to address global skills gap and decrease youth unemployment. I therefore call upon our youth to seriously take up all available opportunities being provided by government as quick fixes and short-cuts to economic empowerment, concluded Deputy Minister Mahlalela.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Department of Tourism, Republic of South Africa.