Client: Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism

Problem statement

The challenge is that broadband-related skills need to be developed to promote the adoption of services across the broadband network that will be rolled out in the Western Cape. The Western Cape is driving this initiative under the auspices of the Provincial Skills Council (PSC), and the Western Cape Broadband Initiative (WCBBi).

The aim is that by 2030 every citizen and businesses in every town and village would have the necessary skills to be able to effectively utilise the broadband infrastructure, and be actively utilising this in their day to day lives, improving their socio-economic status, closing the digital divide, increasing productivity and facilitating access to new markets.

The solution approach

The Position Paper provided an international review as well as a synthesis of the current status of broadband-related skills initiatives for citizens and business and identified where the gaps for skilling and upskilling are. BMI-T also examined what new skills and up-skilling could be required by businesses (big corporates and SMMEs) and citizens as a result of improved broadband, considering connectivity both through mobile devices as a means to access the internet and through public access points which will be rolled out and standardised through all wards in the Western Cape.

This Broadband-related Skills Strategic Framework and Plan included: goals and targets; objectives; principles; key elements and main interventions; roles of private sector, skills service providers, citizens, civil society and government, as well as the monitoring and evaluation required to support and optimise a broadband-enabled economy.

The Strategic Framework and Plan also aggregated and quantified broadband-related skills needs and requirements by businesses and citizens, and compared these to the existing relevant skills available in the Western Cape. The eSkills levels were categorised into: Foundation eSkills; Intermediate eSkills; Niche and specialised industry eSkills; and Advanced ICT skills.

For each of the skills categories key elements were identified; the level of skill needed; what qualifications it included; the number of people needing skills development; who the programme beneficiaries were; who the potential partners were. Growth forecasts were also projected for every eSkills category, per district municipality, up to 2030.

Outcomes achieved

As a result of the research, the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism has been enabled to identify a number of key eSkills pilot projects to launch, Once they are sustainable they will be transferred to the appropriated departments to execute on.