From Jobless to Employed: CapaCiTi’s Top Tech Talent Pipeline Launches over 500 Tech Professionals into Top Jobs

From Jobless to Employed: CapaCiTi’s Top Tech Talent Pipeline Launches over 500 Tech Professionals into Top Jobs


CapaCiTi, Africa’s most successful tech talent pipeline, recently celebrated over 500 tech graduates matched to top tech positions over the last five years.

The CapaCiTi programme has made significant progress in equipping South Africa’s youth with skills demanded by rapidly growing tech-enabled sectors. The programme takes unemployed youth and reskills them with highly marketable tech skills- including business analysis, software development and IT networking skills; equips them with job readiness training and other life skills and finds them internships and full time jobs thereafter, all at no charge to the student. Ninety-eight percent of all graduates between 2011 and 2015 are still in employment at over 150 South African companies.

CapaCiTi celebrated their students’ success at the annual Top Tech Talent Graduation Event held at the Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday, 24th of November. This celebration was attended by key political dignitaries, students, alumni from past programmes, partner companies, funders and educators.

Debbie Schäfer, Western Cape Government MEC for Education, highlighted the importance of recognising that not only digital literacy but also tech skills are essential to adequately preparing youth for the post-school world.

“We are very excited about CapaCiTi’s initiative in ensuring that they up-skill ICT learners and enable them to find and secure employment,” says Schäfer. “Ensuring that our young people are digitally literate in this day and age is vitally important for when they leave school and graduate from a relevant course. Skills like these give them something with which to contribute to the economy and a sense of pride in their own abilities.”

Schäfer explained that the Western Cape Education Department has identified ICT skills and e-learning as a game-changer for South African education, and is placing a huge emphasis on rolling out infrastructure and technology for the purposes of e-learning over the next two years.

Najwah Allie-Edries, Head of the Jobs Fund stressed that skills programmes need to result in jobs, and that training alone is not enough. “The work that CapaCiTi does is enormously important. It provides a vital bridge and link between unemployed youth and the world of work. More importantly the work of CapaCiTi is demand-led and there’s a huge demand for ICT skills, but young people don’t know how to access that,” said Allie-Edries. “Access to education has improved, but employment hasn’t. Through the work CapaCiTi does in identifying young people, putting them through structured programmes and understanding what employer needs are, we can ensure that those young people meet those needs. “

Ian Merrington, CEO of the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi), under which the CapaCiTi programme falls, described the graduation event as a significant day for the programme and its students.

“Today was a big day for our graduates. These are skilled people who are going to go out into the workplace, who are job-ready, and are ready to take on and change the world. We saw the passion, and we saw the transformative potential of our programmes and how inclusive they are.”

Ian believes that this is only the tip of the iceberg for young South African professionals. The potential impact for the community and the economy is significant.

“The economic stimulation and growth that can come out of tech professionals moving into the economy is almost limitless. The demand is there, and we’ve succeeded in creating 500 new jobs in the economy. We are extremely proud of that result.”

Alethea Hagemann, Head of the CapaCiTi programme explains that CapaCiTi has big plans for the near future. “In 2015 alone we had 220 individuals come through the programme, which is nearly double that of our 2014 group. The potential to scale up is extremely positive. We aim to train at least another 1,000 students in tech skills over the next 3 years through the innovative use of online programmes,” said Alethea.  “The sky is the limit.”

The graduates and guests also heard from other key government and industry leaders including Beverley Schäfer, Member of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament-Standing Committee Chairperson on Economic Opportunities, Tourism and Agriculture; Solly Fourie, Head of Department of Economic Development and Tourism; Rob Paddock, GetSmarter Co-founder and Chief of Education; Lance Greyling, Director: Trade & Investment, City of Cape Town; Sonja Balt, Oracle Learning Initiatives Programme Manager and Richard Vernon, IBM Territories Manager: Western Cape.


About CapaCiTi

CapaCiTi trains SA’s unemployed graduates for top tech jobs, and then finds them employment at leading companies in the Western Cape. With a 98% placement rate and over 500 graduates placed at a network of 150 recruiting companies, CapaCiTi is the top tech talent pipeline for the brightest talent in the country.

They have partnered with UCT, UWC, CPUT and other institutions to develop bespoke programmes rooted in industry-input, industry-demand and industry-standards. CapaCiTi candidates complete an intensive professional skills development programme tailored to the tech sector.

To Contact CapaCiTi

Contact: Alethea Hagemann


Tel: 021 409 7000


Post Categories: Innovation News

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