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Experts gather at the Western Cape Tourism, Hospitality, and Chef Expo to showcase the possibilities of these growing sectors.

False Bay TVET College and the South African Culinary and Hospitality Educators Forum (SACHEF), with Africa Chefs Alliance hosted an informative and engaging Tourism, Hospitality and Chef Expo at the False Bay TVET College, Muizenberg Campus on 17 and 18 August 2023.

The two-day event offered a unique opportunity for all stakeholders in the culinary and hospitality industry to gather, fostering valuable connections and networking opportunities.

The unofficial theme: “An experiential approach to teaching, learning and expanding mindsets to the wonderful career possibilities that the Hospitality and Tourism sectors present.”

South Africa has been one of the top tourist destinations; however, the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and bans had a devastating impact on the growth of the sector.

However, since the return to normality, according to Stats SA, arrivals into South Africa have grown by 145.4% in comparison to the stats recorded in April 2021 and April 2022.

To accommodate rising travellers, the hospitality industry is expanding rapidly and the most effective and sustainable way to re-build an economy is to equip the next generation with the skills and know-how to drive it.

Responsive to economic needs and prospects, False Bay TVET College remains committed to expanding employment opportunities and preparing young people for the world of work through participation and exposure to platforms and opportunities that link them to career paths and employers.

The College campus was reconfigured to accommodate, a Careers Exhibition especially designed for students enrolled in Tourism, Hospitality or Chef/Culinary qualifications and their lecturers, introducing them to the exciting possibilities within these industries.

The spokesperson for SACHEF, Shaun Smith said in his welcoming address,” It’s not enough to be skilled, we need to be multi-skilled. The international market is waiting for you. The quality of training hospitality students receive in South Africa, positions them for success in the international market.”

Special guest speakers included Chef Andile Somdaka, owner of Eziko Restaurant, and personal chef to the late global icon President Nelson Mandela shared his journey, addressing the audience, “It all started as a holiday job for me, but I worked so hard and showed so much interest, that at the end of the holiday, the employer didn’t want me to go. There are no shortcuts to success, and it is up to you to make your way and name in this business.”

This was the first year that False Bay TVET College came on board with this initiative. Ms. Marianna Herne, Muizenberg Campus Manager said “This collaborative showcase was so beneficial for all in attendance, exhibitors, students, and lectures. This initiative showcased the skills and developments of the sectors and the interviews completed with the employers were very exciting for the students.”

Day 2 of the event was action-packed. Enough with the speeches and breakaway session, the proof was in the doing. Learners in attendance and local schools that offered hospitality and tourism subjects were bussed in to participate, gaining first-hand experience and insights into the vast career possibilities available in the tourism and hospitality sectors.

Capitalising on the captivated audience, expo visitors not yet familiar with the “Olympics of Artisan Skills”, were treated to the Provincial heat of the World Skills Competition. Participating students from the College, applied their skills, in the hope of progressing to the national competition, and making the team that will represent South Africa at the 47th WorldSkills Competition, scheduled to take place in Shanghai, China 2024.

The competition judges ranged from lecturers to industry experts, with years of experience judged the students’ techniques in the category of Restaurant Services. Winners are yet to be announced.

WC Tourism & Hospitality Expo Stakeholders 

Left to Right: Chef Somdaka, Chef Smith, Principal Karin Hendricks, Chef Mahlamola, Christiana Nel and Marianna Herne 

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