South Africa addresses Swiss ICT talent divide


R17 Ventures AG Chief Executive Officer, Raphael Rohner

from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
Western Cape Bureau
CAPE TOWN, (CAJ News) – SOUTH Africa is plugging the information and communications technology gap in Switzerland, thanks to an initiative by a Swiss-headquartered digital agency.

The Cape Town-based Swiss firm, R17 Ventures AG, is driving the programme.

Comprising over 50 employees, the digital agency, which also has offices in Baar and Zürich, offers an extensive apprenticeship programme in Cape Town.

The Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa, as well as several tertiary education institutions, have endorsed R17 Ventures, founded three years ago.

The agency, which reports receiving over 20 000 job applications a year, has devised “a career accelerator programme” that is a paid internship and apprenticeship, that has top graduates and young industry professionals learn while they earn, using the Swiss apprenticeship model and exporting it to their offices in South Africa.

It provides a curriculum of theoretical classes and practical projects designed to upskill young professionals into skilled performance marketing specialists and digital content creators – from the fundamentals of online advertising to platform tutorials and advanced strategy and problem solving.

“This is a project that I am incredibly proud of,” Raphael Rohner, Chief Executive Officer said in an interview with CAJ News Africa.

“We saw the opportunity to upskill and make a meaningful impact on the digital landscape, our company, and in South Africa where youth unemployment is at 40 percent and graduates are struggling to find jobs,” Rohner said.

Over the last two years, multiple large international companies including Amazon and Google have expanded to Africa’s most advanced economy.

– CAJ News

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