The Cape IT Initiative’s strengths
In terms of CITi’s key role within the Western Cape ICT Eco-System, it is important to highlight our strengths:
- CITi is an initiator and an enabler. This is why we are called the Cape IT Initiative. To initiate means: to cause (a process or action) to begin; to cause a first step in a process or action.
- CITi is industry-demand driven. We are industry-demand driven because we recognise that it is industry and entrepreneurs that create new jobs and generate revenue for the Western Cape and South Africa. This is why we collaborate so closely with business and work to “organise business” to speak with one voice so that other stakeholders (such as government and academia) can see through the “noise” of multiple, often conflicting, demands and hear what really needs to be done to create new jobs, increase competitiveness and generate revenue.
- CITi is a team player. We do not work alone. We recognise that our industry’s challenges are systemic, are many and are serious and that addressing them will require an enormous common commitment across multiple stakeholders. This is why we were founded on the principles of “cluster development” which we now define as “complex integration”. This is why our Board includes stakeholders from industry, academia, government and other ICT bodies.
- CITi is a complex-integrator. We listen to our stakeholders (industry, other ICT bodies, government, academia and others) to identify challenges and opportunities and communicate these challenges and opportunities to those who can actively assist and act. We treat inaction as the only real failure.
- CITi is “proactive.” We proactively and entrepreneurially inspire others to work with us to drive the creation of interventions, programmes and projects to address common challenges and maximise opportunities for employment and revenue growth.
CITi’s focus is on introducing new options, creating programme interventions and launching initiatives that reduce and/or change the systemic challenges that affect business’ ability to grow revenue and increase employment.
Our strengths are well demonstrated by our achievements in addressing graduate unemployment and critical IT and software skills shortages.
In less than two years, CapaCITi 1000 has established a “niche” in creating unique programmes that provide “re-skill, new-skill and up-skill” opportunities for unemployed graduates from both IT and non-IT degree backgrounds.
- The programme is succeeding in piloting new post-graduate programmes with universities to meet industry demand for IT skills in critical short supply, despite significant funding and other systemic challenges
- The programme is attracting large numbers of black graduates and as a result is meeting high levels of industry demand for black IT graduates
- The programme is increasing the pool of IT graduates by fast-tracking non-IT graduates into IT skills in critical short supply
- The programme has a 92% industry placement rate of candidates trained via our programmes
- The programme is bringing the available pool of current / future IT graduates closer to the companies: Our “speed dating” and “speed interviewing” sessions have introduced companies to graduates they do not normally meet and as a result increasing the “reach” of companies to more graduates
- The programme is reducing the cost to companies of recruiting interns; Our “speed dating” and “speed interviewing” sessions have introduced companies to graduates in a faster, more efficient way thus reducing the “time” cost of finding interns
- The programme is increasing collaboration between industry and the universities as a result of its upfront multi-stakeholder engagements and its monthly Steering Committees, in this way positively influencing (we believe) the development of curricula to address industry needs by increasing information flow and providing an opportunity for more targeted communication
- The programme has developed good brand awareness among graduates
- The programme has succeeded in attracting both large and SMME companies as host companies
- The programme has built commitment to CapaCITi 1000 amongst its new programme recipients (ie has customer loyalty), built in part by the combined struggle to make the programme pilot work
- CITi, via the CapaCITi 1000 programme, has also met a need for “seed” support for very early stage pilot skills initiatives to be explored or piloted far enough to secure further funding or institutional support (often from within the universities or institutions in which they are often created by hamstrung by bureaucratic delays and resource challenges). A case in point is CITi’s support of the IBM RPG training programme in early 2011 (when it was driven by two individuals from Gauteng and an enthusiast within IBM who supported them with funding from IBM for their costs). This IBM RPG pilot (hosted in the Bandwidth Barn computer training room before CPUT/CenCRA had space or computers for it) paved the way for CenCRA’s skills certification model and resulted in the CenCRA Java programme and IBM programmes that followed and which are increasingly attracting funding without CITi support.