CiTi secures $20.7m funding to scale up skills programme in SA

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The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) has secured an additional ZAR250 million (US$20.7 million) in funding to significantly scale up its CapaCiTi technology skills and job readiness programmes.

CapaCiTi is now training young, unemployed South Africans in Johannesburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth, as well as at the organisation’s hub in Cape Town, and aima to equip in excess of 3,000 talented young individuals with industry-demanded technology and business skills over the next three years.

This large-scale expansion has been enabled through the support of South African corporate businesses, in particular ZAR100 million (US$8.3 million) from BCX and ZAR75 million (US$6.2 million) from the National Treasury Jobs Fund.

The CapaCiTi programme was developed seven years ago in response to the South African business sector’s skills needs, placing a strong emphasis on soft skills training and real-workplace experience, alongside core technical training. CapaCiTi has achieved a 97 per cent placement rate in 130 South African companies to date.

“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,” said Ian Merrington, chief executive officer (CEO) of CiTi.

“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.”

Najwah Allie-Edries, head of the Jobs Fund, said through this partnership the Jobs Fund was catalysing the growth of a high-quality, demand-driven ICT ecosystem where employers,  training organisations and youth have 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 the unemployed youth. CiTi has certainly demonstrated its ability to produce the desired results,” said Allie-Edries.

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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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