Over the next three years, CapaCiTi will equip in excess of 3 000 talented young individuals with industry-demanded technology and business skills, placing them in permanent jobs in South Africa’s leading companies. This is in addition to the 1000 candidates already trained, mentored and placed. This large-scale expansion has been enabled through the generous support from South African corporate businesses, in particular R100m from BCX, and also R75m from the National Treasury Jobs Fund. The CapaCiTi programme has dedicated seven years to building its institutional expertise to become the leading specialist in technology skills development in South Africa. The uniqueness of the CapaCiTi model lies in the agility of the programme curricula in response to the South African business sector’s skills needs; and importantly the high emphasis on soft skills training and real-workplace experience, alongside the core technical training. Through CapaCiTi programmes, unemployed previously disadvantaged young individuals (40% female) 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. CapaCiTi has achieved a 97% placement rate in 130 South African companies to date, allowing them to significantly grow, diversify and retain their young tech talent. Ian Merrington, CEO of CiTi says “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. Our new President 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. Come and join us by participating in this amazing skills initiative, whilst at the same time solving your tech skills constraints.”In contrast to traditional learning institutions, CapaCiTi curricula are agile and responsive to changes in industry, ensuring it produces students with the tech skills that business needs now. Strong relationships with corporate partners are therefore a key focus for CiTi, not only ensuring partners’ talent pipeline is well understood and met, but to successfully secure great career opportunities for graduates. The National Treasury Jobs Fund investment presents South African companies with the opportunity to leverage 40% more value for their training expenditure, and access to a talent pipeline that directly meets their needs. Loan and work-back agreements built into an innovative financial model guarantee the sustainability and scalability of the project, and candidate accountability. CiTi views these as the cornerstones of real impact. “Through this partnership, the Jobs Fund is 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,” says Najwah Allie-Edries, Head of the Jobs Fund.The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi), established in 1998 as Africa’s first tech incubator, has continued to be at the forefront of digital innovation in South Africa by playing a catalytic role at all critical digital and innovation touch points of the economy. Joshin Raghubar, Chairperson of CiTi said “CiTi has been building the technology and innovation ecosystem in the region and the country for almost 20 years. As we look to the next 20 years and our shared vision of a prosperous, inclusive, and future-ready society, it is vital that we scale programmes that empower young people with skills of the future.” Apply online now at www.citi.org.za/capaciti.