Tech hub to train 3‚000 unemployed youths
17 April 2018
BY BEKEZELA PHAKATHI
The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) is scaling up its CapaCiTi technology skills and job readiness programmes.
The organisation‚ which was established in 1998 as Africa’s first tech incubator‚ said it had received an additional amount of R250 million to boost its skills training programme. The initiative will now be training unemployed youths in Johannesburg‚ Durban and Port Elizabeth as well as at the organisation’s hub in Cape Town.
In addition to the 1‚000 candidates already trained and placed‚ CiTi will train just over 3‚000 unemployed youths over the next three years. The initiative had received R100 million from BCX‚ the National Treasury Jobs Fund made available R75 million towards the initiative‚ with various other South African corporates also making a contribution.
Through CapaCiTi programmes‚ unemployed previously disadvantaged young individuals are equipped with a relevant and work-ready skill set which they go on to apply in their internship and permanent placement in one of CapaCiTi’s partners.
Ian Merrington‚ CEO of CiTi‚ said: “South Africa faces an enormous unemployment problem whilst at the same time the economy is being constrained from growing at its full potential due to a shortage of appropriate skills. This is further exacerbated by a rapid change to our old economic model as the new digital economy becomes pervasive. Disruptive technology is damaging social cohesion throughout the world‚ but we see this as a massive opportunity for South Africa to unlock all the latent talent which we have by providing access to relevant‚ responsive skills training and education.
“[President Cyril Ramaphosa] called on us to play an active role in shaping South Africa’s future‚ to ‘Send Me’‚ in his recent State of the Nation Address. This is the opportunity for corporate SA to stand up and answer that call.”
Najwah Allie-Edries‚ head of the Jobs Fund‚ said the fund was catalysing the growth of a high-quality‚ demand-driven ICT ecosystem where employers‚ training organisations and youth have vested interests in growing effectively.
“This shared interest will overcome the ongoing skills constraints faced by industry and result in sustainable long-term employment for the unemployed youth. CiTi has certainly demonstrated its ability to produce the desired results.”