The National Youth Chefs Training Programme (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 chefs 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.
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 Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk and the NDT have been inspired and excited about this programme that makes a positive impact in the fight against unemployment, as well as answers a critical need in the development of our hospitality and tourism industry.

“In Government we work with budgets, policies and policy documents, and I know that a lot of people look at us and wonder what it achieves. Does it change lives? When I look at this program [NYCTP] I am convinced that this is a programme that will touch the lives of many people,”
said Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk during his speech at the launch of NYCTP.

All students who enroll in the programme at a first year level will complete a City & Guilds Certificate in Food Preparation and Cooking (Culinary Arts) and in the second year, on successfully completing the course, can enroll to complete a City & Guilds Diploma in Food Preparation and Cooking.
The students that make it into the third year will complete an Advanced Diploma in Food Preparation and Cooking and will learn leadership and management skills, as well as menu and recipe development and more specialised cooking skills. On completing their third year, these NYCTP graduates will have the skills and experience necessary to enter a junior management role.
The programme runs in all nine provinces, and 26 SA Chefs-accredited culinary schools 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 restaurant, hotel and resort kitchens across the country.
To enroll for this programme email Hudson Masondo at or call our main office. Click here to view testimonials from happy students.

SACA’s involvement

The Buzz around the SA Chefs stand at the Department of Tourism’s career day in 2009 started discussions around the idea of a Youth Training Programme. Together with SA Chefs a certificate in culinary arts, which is registered with City and Guilds in the UK was developed which will enable students to work anywhere in the word upon completion.
Other training providers which form part of the programme are: Swiss Hotel School; HTA School of Culinary Art; Capital Hotel School; Silwood Kitchen; Institute of Culinary Arts, butlers Hotel School, 1000 Hills Chefs school; fusion Cooking School; Capsicum, International Hotel School, School of Culinary art, alfresco Academy of food and the Centre of Culinary Excellence.
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.