CiTi, Media24 launch hub to upskill Cape Town developers

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The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) has partnered Media24 to launch The Hub at the Bandwidth Barn in Woodstock, aimed at upskilling and building a pipeline of developers.

CiTi and Media24 said The Hub is a pilot project that will expand to other areas of the South African developer ecosystem, with a focus on youth talent.

The programme aims to build a pipeline of developers in a sector that is short in talent, while also assisting young people in gaining web development skills in order to further their careers.

CiTi already runs its CapaCiTi programmes out of the Bandwidth Barn, which have a 96 per cent placement rate, over 900 graduates and a network of 100 recruiting companies. With The Hub, Media24 is tapping directly into this talent and graduates will be trained in the specific coding languages the company uses, coupled with direct exposure to culture and business processes.

“Media24 is at the forefront of the digital media revolution in South Africa and we’re diversifying our business into new revenue streams like e-commerce and e-fashion, and job classifieds,” said Media24 chief executive Esmaré Weideman.

“We snap up more software developers than the market can supply. And so we’ve taken to training the tech talent we need by partnering with CapaCiTi – the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative’s answer to this skills shortage.”

Over six months, the students will be trained in PHP, .NET, JavaScript and Android programming languages – all used by Media24. In addition to gaining practical coding experience, the students will be given support and training in the wider skills required to find a job as a coder, including professional skills such as interview techniques.

“We are facing a tech skills shortage in South Africa for a range of reasons,” said Alethea Hagemann, head of the CapaCiTi skills development programme at CiTi. “From lack of awareness of IT as an exciting career prospect at school level, to the misperception that you need a university computer science degree to break into this field.”

CiTi chief executive officer Ian Merrington said the partnership was a good example of the role CiTi plays in the Western Cape tech ecosystem.

“We’re the cog that brings together business, job seekers and training programmes to collectively drive the region’s tech economic growth,” he said. “With forward-looking companies such as Media24 actively investing in nurturing the developers of tomorrow, ensuring they get the best candidates that can get up to speed rapidly, the opportunities in the region are set to flourish.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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