Developing young talent for employment in the wine industry

Thursday, 1 August, 2013
Pinotage Youth Development Academy
The Pinotage Youth Development Academy (PYDA) celebrated its official launch at Solms-Delta winery, Franschhoek. Having officially opened its doors to the first class of 25 students on 3 June 2013, this event served as a formal introduction to the Academy and its students.

The Academy is the realization of the dream to develop young, talented South Africans for employment in the wine industry and related sectors. It will impact directly on the high levels of youth unemployment, and is unique in that it integrates work-readiness and technical skills with the personal development essential for success.

The customised programme is based on an extensive research and consultation process. The pilot programme will run over 12 months from June 2013 until end May 2014 and will follow this pattern each year as it is specifically designed to follow the production cycle of the vine. On successful completion of the year, students will receive a formal qualification endorsed by Winetech (the body responsible for coordinating research, training and technology transfer in the Wine industry).

The Academy is located in Stellenbosch and for the first year has students from Stellenbosch and Paarl/Wellington. Students are 18 to 25 years old, have passed Grade 12, and have come through a stringent selection process. Most importantly, they each demonstrate the “spark” and talent essential for success. Learning is experiential and combines practical work placements and classroom work. Students recently completed their first work placements pruning on farms in the winelands.

“These talented students are destined to be a new generation of professionals”, says Programme Director, Nikki Munro. “They will be highly regarded at work with the skills and mindset necessary to add value in the wine sector.” “Our success,“ she adds, “will be measured by their employment in the wine industry, as well as their ability to know their talents and apply them for change in South Africa.”

The launch was attended by key industry stakeholders and partners, educationalists and supporters, as well as government representatives. The Academy is supported by its Patrons, including Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Jan Boland Coetzee and Reuben Riffel, as well as its Advisory Board members.

Attendees had the opportunity to be hosted by the students and two students spoke of their experiences of the programme so far.

The Academy’s programme is aimed initially at the wine industry, recognising its important contribution to the South African economy and its significance in terms of employment in the Western Cape specifically. It fits well within the context of Government’s commitment towards job creation in the agricultural sector, as well as its focus on further education and training.

The programme is set to roll out to other geographical areas next year. The aim is to expand into other agricultural sectors and industries over time.

Issued by: Nikki Munro - Programme Director

For further information please contact at or 0836455995