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The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management Alderman James Vos recently visited the Cape Skills and Employment Accelerator Project and met with trainees and a business participating in the programme. Read more below:

The Cape Skills and Employment Accelerator Project was launched by the City of Cape Town in partnership with the National Skills Fund to create employment opportunities for marginalised youth and women. Under the initiative, 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.

‘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 specially to ensure skills’ pipelines for high growth industries that will drive demand,’ said Alderman Vos.

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. They are then selected for a 12-month training programme with the City’s Special Business Partner (SBP), CapeBPO, during which time they also receive a monthly stipend and workplace experience.

One employer who has already welcomed learners for training is Merchants, a global contact centre operator.

Zain Patel, the South African division’s managing director, explained that the business is focused on building local digital capabilities as this is likely to be the fastest growing area for job creation from businesses servicing global customers, from Australia to North America.

‘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.

With Cape Town’s clothing and textile sector also rapidly growing, the City’s SBP, the Craft & Design Institute (CDI), has also 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, 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 own systems, processes and methods,’ said Mutize.

The City is urging clothing and textile businesses to sign up for the next phase of the project. Applications for the CDI programme close on Thursday 24 June, and participating learners must reside within the City of Cape Town metro while businesses may operate outside it. Go to www.thecdi.org.za/accelerator to apply.

‘This is an ideal opportunity to find work in sectors which are seeing 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,’ said Alderman Vos.


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