PYDA students celebrate graduation

Thembeka Twenisi.

Nineteen students of the Pinotage Youth Development Academy (PYDA) celebrated their graduation with family and friends on Friday May 18, marking the end of a challenging 12-month fruit sector programme.

PYDA offers a programme that combines personal development with industry-specific vocational skills and practical work experience, and these graduates are ready to launch their careers in any number of roles in the fruit value chain, including processing, quality assurance, orchar dmanagement, marketing, logistics and export.

Guest speaker, Joyene Isaacs, head of agriculture for the provincial government congratulated the graduates on their achievements.

Her message to them was clear: “Take the opportunities and make your dreams happen” by using networks and selling your skills to employers.

She sees a bright future for the career development of young, talented and work ready employees as her department drives a number of initiatives to create more opportunities in the agricultural sector. She encouraged employers who are looking for bright and committed staff to contact PYDA.

The PYDA has graduated 162 work-ready young men and women and continues to do so with two classes of wine tourism students currently in the programme.

A new class of 25 students start their journey in the fruit sector this month.

Thembeka Twenisi, mother of graduate Akhona, addressed the graduating class, sharing her pride in her daughter and the stories of change in their home because of Akhona’s commitment to the fruit sector programme.

Contact Nikki Munro on 021 882 9273 or