Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

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 R250m 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 more than 3,000 unemployed youths in the next three years. The initiative had received R100m from BCX (Business Connexion Group), the Treasury Jobs Fund R75m and various other corporates also making contributions.

Through CapaCiTi programmes, unemployed, previously disadvantaged young individuals are equipped with a relevant and work-ready skills set. They apply for internship and get permanent placement in one of CapaCiTi’s partners.

Ian Merrington, CEO of CiTi said: "South Africa faces an enormous unemployment problem while at the same time the economy is being constrained from growing at its full potential because of 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 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 it was catalysing the growth of a high-quality, demand-driven information and communications technology ecosystem in which employers, training organisations and youth have a vested interest in growing effectively.

"This shared interest will overcome the ongoing skills constraints faced by industry and result in sustainable long-term employment for unemployed youth. CiTi has certainly demonstrated its ability to produce the desired results."