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The Cape Skills and Employment Accelerator Project has been launched by the City of Cape Town in partnership with the National Skills Fund (NSF) to create employment opportunities for youth and women between 18-35. The City is contributing R55-million over three years towards training and work placement in companies in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and clothing and textile sectors.
Candidates will be chosen for a 12-month training programme with the City’s Special Business Partner
For the BPO arm of the initiative, qualifying candidates need to register on the Skills Passport online portal after which they do a series of assessments. Candidates will be chosen for a 12-month training programme with the City’s Special Business Partner (SBP), CapeBPO, during which they will receive a monthly stipend and workplace experience.
Accelerator participants show promise
The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management Alderman James Vos recently visited the programme where he met with participants and commented:
“This Cape Skills and Employment Accelerator Project – a first of its kind for a municipality offers training and workplace experience to people in strategic sectors. We designed this programme especially to ensure skills pipelines for high-growth industries that will drive demand.”
Merchants is a global contact centre operator that has already shown interest in employing accelerator participants. Zain Patel, Customer Director of the SA division explained that the business is focused on building local digital capabilities – the fastest growing area for job creation from businesses servicing global customers.
“South Africa is home to an incredibly talented and enthusiastic talent pool. Given the right opportunities, these individuals can deliver high-quality, complex service offerings to both local and international enterprises seeking a competitive edge,” said Patel.
The CDI programme
Cape Town’s clothing and textile sector is expanding rapidly and the Craft & Design Institute (CDI) hit the ground running in facilitating its training programme.
In the first phase of the project, nine businesses worked with the CDI to provide opportunities for learners who completed 25% of the year in class, and the remainder in practical learning in the business.
Edeline Mutize, the owner of Koshai Kollection, said the project was a learning experience for both the trainees and the businesses.
“We decided to embark on the Accelerator programme as we saw a need for developing skills, not only to be absorbed into the business but into the industry. It came with its challenges, but this in itself also reminded us to challenge our systems, processes and methods,” said Mutize.
“This is an ideal opportunity to find work in sectors which are seeing a huge expansion in Cape Town. The City is committed to creating the right conditions to boost local manufacturing, and together, we will continue to make it easier to create job opportunities, do business, and ultimately grow our economy,” concluded Alderman Vos.
The City urges clothing and textile businesses to sign up for the next phase of the project. Applications for the CDI programme close on 24 June. Participating learners must reside within the metro area while businesses may operate outside it. Go to www.thecdi.org.za/accelerator to apply.
Featured image: Alderman Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management talks to Accelerator learners, by Luthando Tyhalibongo (Supplied)