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The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi), has announced a partnership with Media24 aimed at building developer talent in the Western Cape.
Called The Hub @ Media24, the partnership is the latest initiative to come out of CiTi’s CapaCiTi programme, which aims to close the gap between unemployed young people – many with tertiary education – and the shortage of technology, specifically coding, skills in the Western Cape.
Launched on 1 June, the The Hub @ Media24 was officially launched on 1 June 2016 and is located in the Bandwidth Barn Woodstock, CiTi’s business accelerator and incubator. The initial pilot programme, which is currently underway, will train 16 coders specifically for entry level positions at two of Media24’s businesses: 24.com and Spree.
“Media24 is at the forefront of the digital media revolution in South Africa and we’re diversifying our business into new revenue streams like ecommerce and efashion, 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.”
Media24 has in its stable the largest digital media platforms and applications in South Africa and, according to a press release sent to Ventureburn, has more than 100 software developers working across web, mobile and OpenSource.
“The skills shortage for young web development talent is well documented and through our new graduate programme we aim to close that gap by not only providing IT training, but also preparing young people for tech jobs at the coolest media company,” said Weideman.
With both aspects of the course customised for Media24, the company benefits from employees who, on day one, are both upskilled in the specific coding languages the company uses, as well as having six months of exposure to Media24 business and culture. This both improves the students’ chances of a successful first job, and fast tracks the impact they can have on the business they join.
According to the release, between 2011 and the end of 2016, CapaCiTi will have trained and placed 900 candidates in IT jobs at more than 100 companies in the Western Cape, including Old Mutual, Woolworths and now also Media24. Three hundred of these placements, it says, will take place this year. Overall CapaCiTi has had a 96% placement rate, and of these, 97% are black candidates and 40% are women.