The City of Cape Town’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) celebrated 73 workers who successfully completed the Smartcape Cadet skills development program, which was developed to ensure the youth are able to gain Information Science and Technology skills at a ceremony held on March 8.

The program empowered these EPWP workers with the necessary digital literacy skills needed to access the information and opportunities that the internet and computer programs provide. 

Over the past month, the 73 participants were trained by the city and are now certified in basic literacy and facilitation.

Since finishing the course, all 73 candidates have been successfully employed by the City of Cape Town through the Expanded Public Works Programme for an 18-month period and will now be stationed at the Smartcape kiosks at various City libraries. 

The main objective of the program was to focus on the skills in computer and digital literacy; customer service; administration and communication.

The Smartcape cadets are represented in all Subcouncils across the City, including areas such as Mfuleni, Macassar, Sir Lowry’s Pass, Atlantis, Delft, and Dunoon. Once registered, participants are placed in the library closest to their residence. 

Qualifying participants for this program were required to have a matric certificate and be between the ages of 18 and 35.

The Smartcape Cadet skills development program has always been one of the most practical and effective initiatives available to unemployed youth in Cape Town.

 Here residents receive an opportunity to equip themselves with the digital literacy skills our society requires in order to access most information and opportunities available to them. 

“The free internet service we offer suddenly becomes a valuable tool in their lives. This has a knock-on effect with other residents in their community as these appointed Smartcape Cadets then guide and assist those needing help at our community libraries,” said the City’s Mayco Member for Corporate Services, Councillor Sharon Cottle. 

The City’s aim with its digital literacy initiatives is to bridge the digital divide in our communities. Some of the focus areas of this skills development program include basic computer skills; internet searches; online job-hunting skills and online applications for educational institutions; scholarships and bursaries.

Given that they are now equipped with the necessary facilitation skills, the Smartcape Cadets will be assisting library patrons with accessing Wi-fi, using useful e-resources such as Press Reader and Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, searching for information, and creating online folders for them to access their research.

Through SmartCape, residents are also able to apply for an apprenticeship or a job at the City, register for the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), apply for an informal trading permit, or report a fault or service request.

Picture: City of Cape Town

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