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Project information

Pinotage Youth Development Academy

The Academy develops the capacity of unemployed, historically disadvantaged South Africans aged 18 – 25 years to prepare them for employment. It brings positive transformation to its students, improving their quality of life and eradicating the effects of poverty


Charity information: The Dame Hilary Cropper Foundation

The Dame Hilary Cropper Foundation logo
  • Need


    The Academy addresses one of the greatest challenges facing the country, that of youth unemployment, where over 50% of 18-25 year olds are jobless. Unemployment often arises from the fact that people from these communities have no access to tertiary education and cannot develop their skills to match the needs of the wine industry, one of the largest employers in the Western Cape.


    The Academy selects 25 young people (per class) from historically disadvantaged communities to become students. The twelve-month fully funded programme runs along the lines of a workplace and is fully integrated, combining technical skills, practical placements on farms and personal life skills development. The curriculum was custom-designed to meet the specific needs of the industry and to prepare graduating students according to the demands of potential employers.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To help students become work ready by building their capacity to prepare them for employment


    » The programme design is not based on a traditional academic year, but reflects typical employment holiday allowances and public holidays.
    » Student allowances are paid based on performance criteria and the Academy applies workplace processes and policies
    » Monitoring measure exist to ensure discipline including stringent timekeeping and attendance requirements and quarterly performance reviews
    » Students spend 20% of the year on work placements to embed their classroom learnings.

    What success will look like

    Our objective is that 100% of graduates will be in meaningful employment within 6 months of graduating. To date the Academy boasts over 90% employment at 6 months post graduation.

    Aim 2

    Students will be technically skilled in all aspects of the wine industry value chain


    » The curriculum is custom-designed to meet the specific needs of the industry and the beneficiaries.
    » Students are subject to external assessments for the South African Qualifications Authority accredited modules, where they earn the relevant credits
    » The pass mark for each module and for the programme as a whole is 75%.

    What success will look like

    Feedback received from work placement partners and employers through surveys and feedback reports.

    Aim 3

    For students to become self reliant


    » 30% of the curriculum is dedicated to personal development and includes camps and classes to encourage personal growth
    » Providing coaches for each student to work with them throughout the year and reinforce what is learned in class

    What success will look like

    Feedback received from the graduates through surveys and interviews to determine their status (where they live, if they're earning sustainably, managing their own budget etc)

  • Impact


    Graduates will be sustainably employed within the wine industry and related sectors such as hospitality and tourism. The employment should be permanent and have a career path that will enable their growth as well as earning potential. They will be able to offer financial support to their families as well as their own economic growth. Ideally, graduates will end up in management positions where they will hire newer graduates and establish a cycle. This will be tracked and reported on.


    The biggest risk is that graduates may not find jobs in the wine industry and related sectors but this is countered by:
    1 - exposing the industry to the students throughout the year through work placements and events - students can establish relationships and make a good impression
    2 - assistance from the Academy in drawing up CVs and cover letters as well as access to the internet to search for jobs
    3 - advising students and graduates of job opportunities that the Academy hears about


    Funders will receive reports as regularly as they require (monthly/ bi monthly/ bi annually/ annually) detailing the ongoing activities, success and highlights as well as comments about future objectives and growth potential.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £61,260

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      Amount Heading Description
      £26,000 Tuition Classroom tuition for one class of 25 students for one year
      £1,300 Coaching A coach for each student (base don a class of 25 students) for the year long programme
      £1,250 Catering Providing food and refreshments to a class of 25 students for the year long programme
      £4,000 Rent Classroom rent for a class of 25 students for the full, year long programme
      £26,500 Allowances Allowances for a full class of 25 students for the year long programme
      £850 Clothing Academy branded clothing for a class of 25 students
      £500 Travel All travel costs for a class of 25 students for the full, year long programme
      £860 Recruitment All costs related to recruitment of students for the programme
  • Background


    The Pinotage Youth Development Academy is located in Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa


    The Academy selects historically disadvantaged and currently unemployed individuals between the ages of 18 – 25 years old to study. The research conducted by Henley Business School in 2011/2012 showed that for each person that graduated, a further 5 people (family/ community) will benefit.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    In 2011 the Foundation decided to establish its own initiative, recognising the significance of youth development both in terms of building technical skills, as well as the all-important aspect of personal development, to create candidates for employment who are both competent and confident. Following two years of stakeholder research and curriculum development, The Pinotage Youth Development Academy started its first academic year in 2013.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Nikki Munro

    Executive Director at the Academy. Nikki is a passionate South African with a vision to reduce unemployment and to connect all South Africans.

    Siphokazi Kwakweni

    Programme Manager at the Academy. Siphokazi’s track record shows a consistent passion to engage and develop young people.


Tuition for one student for one year

Very impressed with students from PYDA - bright, articulate, chatty, bouncy. Definitely people I would want working in my organisation

Cathy Marston (top wine educator in South Afica)