Pinotage Youth Development Academy







Pinotage Youth Development Academy



The idea for the Academy came about as a result of a chance meeting between the Dame Hilary Cropper Foundation’s trustees and a young man who was working in a winery tasting room. His knowledge of the process of wine-making was impressive and his enthusiasm for the industry was evident. The trustees asked whether he had received any formal training.  He explained that, due to his family situation, he had been unable to pursue further education after he matriculated. However, while working in a restaurant, he met the Sales Director of a local winery who recognised his potential and offered him a job. It was here that he learnt all he knew about wine and his talents were realised.

It is intended that the Academy will transform the lives of the students and their communities, as well as contribute towards broader transformation efforts. Its high quality, youth development programme dovetails with the Government’s education initiatives such as the provision of further education and training (FET) to those unable to access a university education, as well as the National Development Plan 2030 which has a strong focus on education and work for youth. It also supports the wine industry in its aim to achieve fundamental change and transformation, particularly in the context of land reform.

About Us

The Pinotage Youth Development Academy, based in the Cape Winelands, develops the capacity of young, disadvantaged South Africans to prepare them for employment within the wine industry and related sectors, such as hospitality and tourism. The Academy is located in Stellenbosch and will initially attract students from Stellenbosch and Paarl.

The Academy offers an integrated programme covering strong vocational skills, as well as the personal growth essential for success. It delivers practical employable skills, together with a mindset and attitude to allow young people to seize or create economic opportunities. This holistic approach will bring positive transformation to the students, as well as to their families, communities, businesses and the country as a whole.


The Academy’s programme is directed toward unemployed young people (18-25 years old) who show potential and motivation. The twelve-month programme, commencing June 2014, will provide a combination of technical skills development, supported by practical placements on farms, and personal life skills development. Successful students will then be work ready and able to seek permanent employment in the wine industry and related sectors. They will receive a qualification validated by Winetech, the industry body responsible for providing technical training and disseminating research data. The learning could equally act as a positive bridge into further education, an internship within the industry or the creation of a business.


The course is deliberately designed to follow the pattern of the working environment to aid the transition from study into employment. The design is not based on a traditional academic year, but reflects employee holiday allowances and public holidays. The Academy will run on the basis of workplace processes and policies. All these approaches will ensure easy integration into the world of work.


The curriculum has been custom-designed, to meet the specific needs of the target market and to ready them according to the needs of a potential employer.The programme will be integrated, combining both technical wine skills covering the whole value chain, as well as personal development and life skills.

The split currently stands at:
• 45% technical skills (vineyard production, wine-making, sales, marketing and tourism)
• 25% practical placements
• 30% life skills, mentoring and support skills
The learning will be experiential, with practical placements interspersed with classroom learning, allowing students the opportunity to put their theoretical learning into practice. The programme will be delivered in English, but staff are also fluent in Afrikaans and Xhosa to provide any support necessary. Students will be subject to both external assessment for SAQA accredited modules, where they will earn the relevant credits, and internal assessment for non-accredited modules.


In determining the target group of the Academy, the specific needs of industry have been taken into consideration, as well as the focus areas of government in terms of education and job creation to ensure maximum impact and change.

The target group, with a projected 60:40 ratio women to men, will meet the following profile criteria:
• 18-25 years of age
• South African
• resident in the target geographical area
• passed matriculation
• unemployed or in casual employment
• previously disadvantaged (broadly defined Black)
• demonstrated the potential to develop as active citizens who influence communities
• demonstrated an active interest in the wine industry

A comprehensive, phased recruitment process has been designed to maximise the retention of students for successful completion of the programme. This process will identify those who have the potential and motivation to seize and create economic opportunities, as well as influence others for change.

Contact Us

Physical Address:  PYDA Building C, Bergzicht campus, Du Toit Street, Off Bird Street, Stellenbosch


Tel: +27(0)21 882 9273