The National Youth Chefs Training Programme (NYCTP) upskills young, unemployed people to become chefs, giving them the support and training they need to succeed in SA’s growing hospitality industry.

National Youth Chefs Training Programme

Project Manager: Hudson Masondo
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 (SA Chefs) to address the urgent need for cooks and cjhefs 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, SA Chefs was tasked to engage and educate young, unemployed people, who have the interest, drive and aptitude to work as chefs in the hospitality industry.
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 National Department of Tourism Ministry have been inspired and excited about this programme that makes a positive impact in the fight against unemployment, as well a answers as a critical need in the development of our hospitality and tourism industry.
The programme runs in all nine provinces with 26 schools, and currently has more than 20 SA Chefs-accredited culinary schools who 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 restaurants, hotels and resort kitchens across the country.

Here is what some of our students have to say…


I am a Diploma Student at the International Hotel School and I want to thank NYCTP for giving me this chance. I am a better person because of you and I am looking forward to working hard to achieve my diploma. – Hlengiwe Hadebe


It has been an exciting rollercoaster and I am very happy to be where I am today. And I believe my CV speaks for itself as I keep getting calls from establishments offering me jobs. That is all thanks to SA Chefs and The Department of Tourism. Big up to u people.
– Sanele Zondi


Once again, my heartfelt gratitudes are being extended to you for such a wonderful programme I am in. Today, Sous Chef Carol Mafoko at the Croc Lounge – Lost City, afforded me a very wonderful opportunity of creating my own Chef Special and preparing it from the scratch. I prepared spinach and feta stuffed chicken breasts, wrapped with bacon and… served with herbed baby potatoes and sauce mornay. This was well executed because it was sold out.  To me this was a great motivation and an indication that I am on a right track. Yes its a small thing but I believe that small beginnings has great endings. Chef Carol was impressed and she decided that I will be in charge of Chef’s Special going forward.
Taking ownership of this dish really made me proud and happy. Thanks to Chef Carol for being my personal coach and mentor in these few weeks of November. It is much appreciated. – Wonder Mosina


As another year draws to a close, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the Department of Tourism, SA Chefs, RBI as well as Sun City for all they did for us during this past year. We appreciate the tremendous support and guidance we received from you. We are all very grateful. As Rustenburg students, ‘platinum chefs’ we wish you a relaxing and peaceful festive season with family and friends. May 2014 bring us all what is best.
– Rustenburg Students