Another jubilant occasion repeated itself at the Francois Ferreira Academy, situated at the PW College in George, in recognition of the 8th group of students, who successfully completed a Culinary and Hospitality Skills programme through the Eden District Cater Care initiative.
On Friday, 27 January 2017, the Eden District Municipality (Eden DM) councillors and staff, representatives from the Francois Ferreira Academy and service providers, showed a face of great excitement and hope for the group of 10 students who successfully completed their Food Assistant and internationally recognized City & Guilds Training programme. Parents of the students were amongst the special guests to observe this memorable and life-changing occasion to witness the feedback by all role-players who ensured that their children succeed.
The programme came into existence in 2008, by means of a collaboration between the Francois Ferreira Academy, Eden District Municipality and ABSA Bank. During 2016, another addition, the National Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), joined the partnership in the endeavour to strengthen efforts in the fight against unemployment.
Executive Deputy Mayor of Eden DM, Cllr Rosina Ruiters, at the event, emphasized the aim of the programme and highlighted:
“This programme seeks to address the high rate of unemployment within the Eden district, further to this, the programme seeks to provide culinary skills training for people who are unemployed and/or who own a catering enterprise in the Garden Route and Klein Karoo area”. Cllr Ruiters further added that the training is intended to equip people, as well as entrepreneurs from small, medium and micro enterprises, with the relevant skills to access jobs in the local hospitality industry. In closing of her motivational remarks to the students, Cllr Ruiters revealed that at some stage in her life she also wore a chef’s hat and warm-heartedly confessed: “If you love cooking – I love you”.
Head of the Academy, Chef Francois Ferreira, boasted with the success of the programme and highlighted: “The programme upholds a stable reputation of 89% success rate for putting students into jobs and also maintains a 0% drop-out rate, since its existence.” Ferreira further motivated the students with the words: “This is not a normal job, this is a life time job – you become the eternal student. Keep your humility, keep you want to learn – that inquisitiveness”.
The students could not thank the Academy, the Eden District Municipality, ABSA and EPWP enough for making this learning opportunity possible.
One student in particular, Silulami Ngwane, praised the Academy for its efforts to bring the group where they are today and for producing students in this industry. To the Eden District Municipality he said: “Thank you for giving us an opportunity to shine”.