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Friday, 31 January 2020, marked another prestigious highlight for representatives of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and the Francois Ferreira School of Culinary Art, when they witnessed the graduation of seventeen (17) Cater Care students from the Garden Route, in the presence of their parents. The ceremony took place at the Francois Ferreira Academy, which is located at the Mount View Resort in George.
The purpose of this collaborative programme between GRDM and the Francois Ferreira Academy is to address the high rate of unemployment within the Garden Route district through the Cater Care Training programme. The course commenced on 4 September 2019 and concluded on 29 November 2019. During this period, the programme required all students to attend classes from Mondays to Thursdays from 8:30 to 15:00. It was expected from each student to attend class in uniform supplied to them while in training at a wing of the academy which is based in Oubaai, George.
“Take your eagle wings and fly”
During her keynote address at the event, Executive Deputy Mayor of GRDM, Cllr Rosina Ruiters, said: “A total of R350 000 was funded by the GRDM to train previously disadvantaged individuals in the Cater Care Programme with the intent to equip people to access jobs in the local Hospitality industry and Tourism sector”. She furthermore shared a motivational message with students and referred to the story of the eagle that was raised by a chicken and explained: “The chicken found a lost egg not knowing where it came from and then brooded the egg to become like a chicken”. With these words Cllr Ruiters encouraged all students: “Take your eagle wings and fly – do not become a chicken”.
At the event, it became evident, that this journey was not only for students to be awarded with another certificate, but it served as proof of their overall passion and enthusiasm for the industry. This became known when two former students, Jackson Lencoe and David Griffins, shared their personal stories with the audience. Lencoe encouraged the students with the words: “If you want something, you have to be relentless and creative.” He furthermore shared words of appreciation to the Academy and GRDM who helped him discover the chef in him. David Griffins furthermore said: “I appreciate the opportunity provided to me” and shared these words with the students: “When I entered the academy, I knew nothing about being a chef, but with positive attitude and determination, everything else will follow; I learned, practised and never gave up,” he concluded.
Adding to the words of Cllr Ruiters and the former students, the Head of the Academy, Mr Francois Ferreira, applauded all members of the team for their sheer commitment and congratulated them with the following words: “All of you worked very well throughout the course. We could see it in your theory and practical marks, with the lowest class percentage of 67% and the highest at 91%. Very well done”, he cheered. Mr Ferreira also sensitised all students and said that now becomes the harder part of finding permanent employment. To all who are not employed, he said: “Search for opportunities who fits your skills set and to students who are already employed, he said: “Look after your jobs as it is so skaars soos hoendertande”. He concluded: “You must have the right attitude and the right work ethic. Work hard at creating your career with the opportunity provided to you by Garden Route District Municipality”.
The ceremony concluded when Mr Ferreira extended a word of gratitude to the representatives of GRDM when he said: “Thank you for taking hands with us to improve the lives of our youth in the Garden Route”.
Eleven (11) delegates from the Garden Route, including Garden Route Film Office (GRFO) members, visited the Durban FilmMart (DFM) between 18 and 22 July 2019. This festival is a joint programme of the Durban Film Office (DFO) and the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) and takes place in conjunction with Durban International Film Festival that spans over a 10-day period, between 18 and 28 July 2019.
Cllr Liza Stroebel, who represented Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) at the DFM, said: “The presence at such a festival is vibrant and exciting. To see the hype of activities within the film industry under one roof and to be able to meet and greet foreign contingents, attend panel discussions and interact socially with artistic individuals within the broader film industry in South Africa and abroad, was an amazing experience. I learnt so much about the film industry and will now be able to better represent the Garden Route District Municipality in the film industry in the Garden Route.”
“The purpose of the inclusion of learners from our region to the DFM was to expose them to the functioning of the industry on ground level and the value which could be added and brought to the Garden Route,” said Cllr Stroebel.
What the Durban FilmMart offers
On an annual basis, the DFM offers creatives, producers and other film industry experts the opportunity to develop content, skills and expertise, while also paving the way for cross-border collaborations and networks. Moreover, it offers a jam-packed programme of panel discussions, seminars, workshops, masterclasses, a finance forum and mini-conferences and exhibitions formed part of the festival.
Team of delegates
Mr Philip de Vries (GRFO Chairperson);
Mr Jacques van der Merwe (Director: GRFO);
Patrick Walton (Director: GRFO);
Lika Berning (Director: GRFO and owner of Ikasi Media;
Cllr Liza Stroebel (Garden Route District Municipality Councillor and EXCO member of GRFO);
“The day you were born you were given many gifts. One such gift is the gift of ‘free will’. What you do with opportunities presented to you, like for instance, being offered the opportunity to study here – depends on you. It is, therefore, without a doubt, a fact that the sky is the limit,” said Councillor Liza Stroebel. In her concluding remarks, she emphasised the importance of decisions of students and that they need to take every opportunity presented to them, “or someone else will”. Councillor Stroebel shared these wise words during the Cater Care Certificate handover ceremony which took place on 12 July 2019 in George.
It was a chest-cramming task to single out 15 learners from a list of 37 hopeful applicants who applied for a three-month course Cater Care Course that started on 4 March and ended on 31 May 2019. Garden Route District Municipality fully funded the course of R300 000.00. Francois Ferreira Academy equipped the humble youth from the Garden Route with various hospitality and culinary skills.
Selection Criteria for Cater Care Course
GRDM was responsible for the coordination and the mobilising of trainees through a formal recruitment and selection process. This has been the case for nearly 10 years.
Students are carefully selected by making use of the following criteria:
• Between the ages of 18 and 35;
• Be unemployed;
• Completed Grade 12;
• Showcase eagerness to make the hospitality industry a career; and
• Live in the Garden Route District.
Francois Ferreira’s Cater Care Course is underpinned by not only basic food preparation, but also life skills. These skills include, but are not limited to:
personal money management;
applying for a job,
writing a curriculum vitae.
Additionally, the training course is the “first step” for aspiring chefs to a sustainable career in the hospitality and culinary industry.
Additional opportunities arranged for 30 learners
FFA subsequently applied and secured additional funding from a Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority Discretionary Grant and for an “Assistant Chef Skills” programme. A total of 30 learners will benefit from this training, which will include the 15 learners who completed their Level 1 Skills in Basic Food Preparation and Basic Service Skills. Students have already started with the “Assistant Chef” course and will continue until the end of August 2019.
During his opening remarks at the Certificate Ceremony which was held on 12 July 2019, Chef Francois Ferreira, Francois Ferreira Academy Principal, said: “It was a joy to teach a group with such enthusiasm and willingness to absorb information.” He also commended students for their “collective positive attitude as a team” which set them apart from previous groups. “You set the bar for future cater care students – each and every one of you have excelled.”
Editor’s note: Youth development is an essential component of GRDM’s efforts to grow the economy. A consequence of saddening statistics that indicate that the Garden Route District has the highest levels of youth unemployment amongst districts within the Western Cape. Youth are under-represented among the employed segment of Garden Routers.
The Municipal Structures Act 117 of 2000, Section 84(1)(m) reads: “Division of functions and powers between the district and local municipalities: (1) A district municipality has the following functions and powers: (m) Promotion of local tourism for the area of the district municipality”.