The International Hotel School Cape Town Campus has been chosen out of 1 700 international centres to submit nominations for the Medals for Excellence programme.
Bradley van Niekerk, who is currently completing the second of his three year traineeship in professional cookery at The International Hotel School (IHS), has been nominated for the City & Guilds of London Medals for Excellence 2012.
One of five trainees to be nominated by the IHS, Van Niekerk was inspired to go into the kitchen by British celebrity chef, Jamie Olivier. After jumping at the chance to work at the Cape Town Stadium during the Soccer World Cup in one of the suites as a waiter, he was even more enthusiastic about the hospitality industry. However, he remained undecided about what to do after completing his matric. When the IHS visited his school in Kuils Rivier and he found out more, his mind was made up.
He started out with a six month START programme and, although he didn't have the finances, his marks earned him a KWV bursary and he hasn't looked back. The IHS was one of 1 700 international centres that was invited to submit nominations for the Medals for Excellence programme this year. This culminates in the Lion Awards which acknowledges 'the best of the best'.
International City & Guilds of London is a leading United Kingdom vocational education organisation that offers more than 500 qualifications over a range of industry sectors through 8 500 colleges in 81 countries worldwide. "This year City & Guilds is changing the way its international learners are recognised for a Medal for Excellence. To align with the UK, international centres will be invited to place nominations for learners that meet the Medals for Excellence criteria. The nominations allow international students to be judged alongside UK learners making the Medals for Excellence a truly global programme," said Tertia Hughes, projects manager for the International City & Guilds.
She said City & Guilds was looking for inspirational individuals who had demonstrated exceptional talent and dedication. "As a leading vocational education organisation, we want to inspire people to believe in themselves and unlock their potential. Not enough recognition is given out for hard work these days. Just being nominated proves to learners that all they've worked for isn't for nothing and that you believe in them. Knowing that there's support and encouragement behind you is one of the most important ingredients for success."
To qualify, learners had to have achieved a distinction in at least one of their City & Guilds assessments between 1 August 2011 and 31 July 2012. Van Niekerk earned more than 90% when writing his exams. He said this year was difficult but believes that his practical training and mentorship by lecturer Pauline Frederick saw him come out on top. He was able to complete all 14 modules of his course. Eight of these were completed in just two weeks.
After completing his studies next year, he would like to work on a cruise liner. His ultimate dream is to own his own restaurant serving up local dishes with European traditional as well as fusion flavours. Meanwhile, he is interning at Three Cities Kleine Zalze in Stellenbosch.
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