The City of Cape Town has upskilled 75 unemployed residents with essential information science and technology skills through its Smartcape Cadet initiative. Each of the participants has also received an 18-month employment contract from the City. They will be assisting the public in using computers and the internet at various City libraries across Cape Town. The Smartcape Cadet skills development programme provides training to unemployed youth who wish to explore opportunities in the IT sector. They have been employed by the City through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) for an 18 months period and will now be stationed at the Smartcape kiosks at various City libraries. They will be facilitating the Smartcape services offered to the public at the kiosks.The cadet skills development programme focuses on skills in computer and digital literacy, customer service, administration, and communication.Qualifying participants for this programme were required to have a matric certificate and be between the ages of 18 and 35.“Through our digital literacy initiatives, we invest in the lives of unemployed residents by upskilling them with scarce skills to improve their chances of securing future employment. “However, with the Smartcape Cadet programme we took it one step further and are providing the participants with employment opportunities to equip them with necessary experience. “Over the next 18 months these Smartcape Cadets will have the opportunity to share the skills they have gained with the various community members visiting the libraries in order for these patrons to start using the technology to improve their lives,” says Mayco member for corporate services, Sharon Cottle.The City’s aim with its digital literacy initiatives is to bridge the digital divide in our communities. Over the past month, the Smartcape Cadets programme participants have received training focusing on basic computer skills, internet searches, online job-hunting skills, online applications for universities, scholarships and bursaries, as well as managing the Smartcape registrations, statistics and marketing.Given that they are now equipped with the necessary facilitation skills, the Smartcape Cadets will be assisting library patrons with accessing the WiFi, using useful e-resources such as Press Reader and Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, searching for information, and creating online folders for them to access their research.Through Smartcape, residents are also able to apply for an apprenticeship or a job at the City, register for the EPWP, apply for an informal trading permit, or report a fault or service request.