Dear colleagues and students
The University of Cape Town is thrilled to launch the UCT Digital Bootcamp, an innovative pilot project, as part of our Vision 2030.
Launched in partnership with Umuzi – which trains top talent for digital roles at leading corporates and other institutions in South Africa – this new programme will offer an additional pathway to employment for determined young individuals and help them unleash their digital potential.
The UCT Digital Bootcamp offers the possibility to not only change individual lives for the better, but also to revive South Africa’s workforce, business environment, society and the economy. This partnership between Africa’s top-ranked university, a leader in digital training and world-class corporates is our way of saying that we believe in all the good that our young people have to offer – not just to South Africa, but to the world.
The pilot programme is based on two important premises. The first is our belief in the potential of every UCT student to make a positive contribution to the future of South Africa. This includes those students who face the disappointment of having to interrupt their university education, for whatever reason. As we have learnt from the pandemic, disruptions can point the way to new solutions and opportunities.
For this reason, UCT is partnering with digital education company Umuzi to offer a different programme of learning to our interrupted studies students, as well as our few unemployed UCT graduates, so that they can increase their likelihood of finding work or creating their own entrepreneurial opportunities.
The UCT Digital Bootcamp will offer sponsored training to eligible UCT interrupted studies students or UCT graduates who have not been able to find a job since graduating three or more years ago. No previous digital experience or skills are required.
An important part of UCT’s Vision 2030 is to help South Africans take their rightful place in the global digital economy – not just by filling digital jobs but also by bringing an African perspective to help steer the growth of the digital economy across and for our continent. This is part of our institutional mission to unleash human potential to create a fair and just society.
We are motivated by our awareness of the massive, untapped talent and ability that is available in South Africa’s young people. If a lack of digital training is what stands between these talented future leaders and a job, then we aim to address that lack.
We are seeing the growing need for digital skills in more and more professional fields – including law, social services, media communication and other “non-scientific” sectors. At UCT we are encouraging students to consider developing information technology skills while pursuing a degree in their chosen programme of study, because we want our graduates to be ready to work within the fourth industrial revolution and influence its impact in South Africa.
As part of the UCT Digital Bootcamp pilot programme, 100 young people will begin to move ahead in a direction that may be different from their original career goals, but will provide the skills for them to possibly reach those goals by a different path.
UCT and Umuzi are supported in this pilot project by generous sponsorships from international corporates that are eager to employ South Africans in their local offices. But we also encourage UCT Digital Bootcamp participants to think beyond corporate employment, to consider ways that they can shape new services and businesses around the skills they will learn.
This is an unmissable opportunity for UCT interrupted studies students and unemployed graduates, who have demonstrated their academic talent and want to take it into the future, either as skilled staff in the corporate world or as digitally savvy entrepreneurs.
We are pleased to welcome each and every young person who is taking up this opportunity as part of the initial cohort, and we look forward to seeing thousands, even millions more gaining these essential digital career skills in the future.
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
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