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01 March 2023 Media Release: Cater Care Training Programme graduates another successful group

Media Release: Cater Care Training Programme graduates another successful group

For Immediate Release
01 March 2023

Another prestigious ceremony was held at the Francois Ferreira Academy (FFA) on Friday, 24 February 2023, to honour 25 students who successfully completed the Cater Care/Food Handler Programme. The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) last year, on 17 October 2022, kicked of its 2022/2023 Cater Care/ Food Handler Programme.

The successful partnership of approximately twelve (12) years between the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and the Francois Ferreira Academy (FFA) continues to equip youth with vital skills in the hospitality industry.

Last year 223 applications were received from youth across the district to be part of the Cater Care Programme. Ninety-four (94) applicants were shortlisted for interviews, of which 25 were selected to be part of the 2022/2023 flagship programme.

During the formal graduation ceremony, Chef Francois Ferreira, Head and Founder of the FFA welcomed the students and guests, and shared a special message with them. He pointed out that they had been in the new building for exactly one year. He recalled there were only boxes and equipment in the building last year, but now it is a fully equipped school with a fully functional restaurant.  “In this industry, we change lives, and I hope that what you’ve learned here will, in a small or big way change the way you think and the way you approach life, because this isn’t just a job, but a lifestyle,” Chef Ferreira encouraged students.

Ms Veronica Mekile, Project Administrator and Life-skills Facilitator of the FFA, provided a brief overview of the course and elaborated on the joy and satisfaction the FFA team experiences when they observe the student’s progress.

Ms Pheliswa Gobisiba, one of the graduating students, delivered a tribute of praised to all the role players involved for the great opportunity. She expressed her gratitude to the staff of the FFA for what they have done for them. “Over the past three months, it has been a long and memorable journey for us; full of excitement and challenges, but we have not lost sight of them.  I want to leave my ‘mates’ with the following message: the journey continues, let’s shine and make our chefs proud.”

GRDM Deputy Executive Mayor, Adv. Gert van Niekerk in his speech, commended the FFA team with an exception to Chef Francois Ferreira for their well-equipped facilities. He congratulated the 25 students on their 100% pass. “This is a long-term investment and we urge you to keep up the good work. Nobody can take away what you’ve got here. With this knowledge, you can succeed in the public sector. On behalf of the GRDM, we wish you all the best,” Adv Van Niekerk said.

Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, congratulated the students and motivated them with the following words: “You are the ones with the skills, the ones who ensure that people will return to a restaurant or not.  It is not how the manager of the establishment smiles or how the owner has treated them; it is what they have tasted. In spite of the fact that you are in the background, where nobody sees you, you are the ones who make people lick their fingers and return.”  Alderman Booysen further elaborated on the decision made by GRDM to become the Skills Mecca in the Western Cape, after seeing the need and the treachery the country has taken. “In this district, whoever comes in must pick up the phone, dial our number and ask us for whatever skills their business requires. Then ,with a press of a button, the names of people with that particular skills would appear on the screen. When new hotels and restaurants open, with the press of a button, your names must come up, because we have created that pool,” he said.

GRDM through its Tourism Unit is responsible for the funding of this programme, with the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) Unit contributing towards the stipends for the students.


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