BY: Mpofu Sthandile.
Cape Town has earned its reputation as a tech capital of Africa, by being home to some of the leading technology companies across the globe. Fuelling this growth, however, requires a sustainable stream of skilled, work-ready, young talent to match the needs of the industry. One local organisation is taking an innovative approach to skills development and training to tackle this challenge head on.
At the start of youth month, redAcademy, an experiential learning hub specialising in teaching coding and technology skills, celebrates the successful graduation of its first cohort of Sprinters as Junior Software Developers, who have achieved the Red Standard of Excellence after completing their 12-month Career Sprint, all with employment contracts as per the promise of the Academy.
The Graduation Ceremony took place on Wednesday, 31 May 2023, at redAcademy’s Mowbray Campus, and marked an momentous milestone in the students’ journey towards becoming skilled professionals in the digital industry.
The Sprinter Graduation celebrated the hard work, commitment, and drive of the students, who have now transitioned into permanent employment. Throughout the program, the Sprinters have embodied harmony, accountability and pride as redAcademy’s values during their journey.
As part of the one-year programme, Sprinters spend a six-month period engaging with software project development and project delivery into clients’ organisations during their time in the academy. By developing real-world tech solutions for leading enterprises in South Africa, graduates have acquired invaluable knowledge and skills that set them up to enter permanent roles within a software development organisation.
The ceremony commenced with a keynote address by Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth at the City of Cape Town. Alderman Vos commended the graduates, highlighting their alignment with their life’s purpose and their embodiment of the determination and drive that Cape Town’s economy needs. He emphasised the significance of starting their careers with a job and acknowledged their possession of some of the most sought-after skills in Cape Town, the tech capital of Africa.
Alderman Vos also emphasised the importance of collaboration between the private sector and the government in ensuring job readiness for graduates across the tech industry. Speaking to the opportunity that Cape Town presents for youth in its tech industry, Alderman Vos stated “I urge you to understand the value that you bring to our community and country, and that you choose Cape Town. Our city has over 20 active incubators and accelerators that play a vital role in providing business and tech support, mentoring and networking opportunities, and links to markets and funders. Because you can find 25 co-working spaces to get started in. Choose the Mother City because it is home to nearly 60% of South Africa’s tech start-ups. Choose Cape Town because over 550 tech companies did. Choose Cape Town, because we will choose you”.
Closing the ceremony, Jessica Hawkey, Managing Director of redAcademy shared her gratitude for the academy’s partners for their role in achieving this milestone: “Thank you to the Lewis Group for sharing our vision to invest in the future talent of South Africa and thereby adding jobs to the economy.”
“We would like to express our gratitude to redPanda Software hosting the academy, mentoring our Sprinters and for their dedication in sharing technical expertise as leaders in the retail software development world. We are proud that our Sprinters have achieved the Red Standard of Excellence and with the support of our partners, they enter their career immediately with permanent employment in the digital ecosystem.” concludes Hawkey. The academy’s partnership with these organisations has contributed significantly to building South Africa’s tech talent and fostering the growth of the country’s digital industry.
The academy remains committed to its vision of building a sustainable tech talent pipeline for the future and will continue to provide innovative and experiential learning opportunities to build and nurture the next generation of digital talent in South Africa.
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