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City and industry partners increase efforts to spur growth, jobs<p>​An integral aspect of our plans is the continued support and funding for our Special Business Partners (SBPs).</p><p>From call centres to craft and design, information technology to green technology, from boats to aviation, these SBPs are at the coalface in communities, recruiting thousands of people for jobs and training in Cape Town’s high growth sectors.</p><p>We target these sectors because our economic recovery efforts take into account both the global village in which Cape Town exists and the City’s unique social landscape. Over the past few years of working with these SBPs, we have witnessed that, by working on the ground in specific sectors, we can affect the most tangible growth.</p><p>Interactions with these vehicles for growth revealed a few surprises. Who knew that Cape Town was the second largest manufacturer of catamarans! My visits both in-person and virtual have witnessed the determination and tenacity to keep the boat building supply line going over the last three-and-a-half years, and in fact increase their export book. All they asked the City to do was assist with lobbying for essential work permits to keep their workforce safe and busy. Now, we have come full circle with the additional support of this sector and strengthening of the supply chain through the creation of BlueCape.</p><p>This kind of multi-sector, partnered approach to economic growth might not be standard practice for local governments in South Africa but here’s the thing: it’s working. In fact, it’s an approach that city development experts around the world say is necessary for economic growth.</p><p>The World Bank says in a report on jobs and growth in cities that one of the characteristics common to a competitive metro is that they “pay close attention to tradable sectors, and conduct specific initiatives targeted to particular industries and investors”.</p><p>How has this worked out for Cape Town thus far? Over the past five years, the City, via the Department of Enterprise and Investment, has invested more than R233 million towards training and job placements in key sectors.<br> <br>The result is 27 137 jobs created, a further 11 025 persons trained in work readiness, and R22,68 billion reaped in the form of commercial investments, which in itself, has created countless more employment and growth opportunities.</p><p>Apart from the SBPs giving their respective industry expertise, our efforts have been met with a spirit of teamwork and ‘can do’ both before, but especially during, the pandemic. For these partners, every job, every opportunity is personal.</p><p>Looking forward, we need to build on these gains. With our 2021/22 budget, we can continue to support programmes that will boost research, training and job placements. These include:</p><ul><li>Upskilling unemployed youth with in-demand technical skills and workplace soft skills in a digital literacy programme at the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi). They will also be coached in becoming job ready and then connected with employment opportunities at CiTi’s corporate partners.</li><li>Training young people in marine manufacturing and amplified marketing of Cape Town’s boat-building industry via our BlueCape SBP. With Africa forecast to be the second fastest-growing boat-building market by 2025, this is an optimum period to make these possibilities a reality.</li><li>Tech training for local entrepreneurs at CiTi’s Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn</li><li>Development and workplace experience for unemployed people in Cape Town’s textile manufacturing sector via the Cape Craft and Design Institute</li><li> Preparing under-skilled youth for work in call centres, a sector for which South Africa has fast gained global recognition. </li><li> The Start-Up, Up-Skill masterclasses from tech accelerator, SiliconCape, in which highly experienced business leaders mentor younger novice entrepreneurs</li></ul><p>Cape Town has maintained its status as the metro with the lowest unemployment rate (on the expanded definition) in the country and I believe that it is because of initiatives such as these. </p><p>As our city and country continues its recovery efforts, we must push ahead with renewed vigour our attempts to get more people working and give them back a sense of dignity.<br></p>2021-09-09T22:00:00ZGP0|#904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7;L0|#0904f8ac3-ad18-4896-a9a8-86feb1d4a1b7|Statements;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#c3eb4de2-583c-47d9-9e83-f61b914a172e;L0|#0c3eb4de2-583c-47d9-9e83-f61b914a172e|Economic opportunities;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#8d0ce6aa-83f2-4b12-baa7-d2cf1201e850;L0|#08d0ce6aa-83f2-4b12-baa7-d2cf1201e850|Employment10

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