Johannesburg, South Africa, Aug 15, 2017 -- The Symbiosis Innovation and Accelerator Centre (SIAC) has opened in Atlantis, in the Western Cape, with the immediate creation of almost 360 jobs for young people in the area.
The centre, which opened its doors last week, is the re-purposed former South African Manufacturing Technology Demonstration Centre.
One of the key industries identified to focus on is the burgeoning call centre sector, where over 350 youth will be trained in telesales techniques, promoting a South African-created product to local and international audiences.
The call centre was originally earmarked for the southern suburbs of Cape Town but was purposefully moved to Atlantis and housed at SIAC.
"Love them or hate them, the call centre sector is a large-scale employer and this is exactly what areas like Atlantis, with high youth unemployment rates, need to bring not only inclusion but prosperity," says Patrick Kadlaie, COO of Symbiosis.
Other opportunities for employment will come from Afrika Tikkun Services, which specialises in youth skills development and placement projects, as well as the Impact Media Youth Hub, which trains youth in photography, journalism, radio presenting and production, filming and other facets of media.
"We hope to scale the SIAC programme to generate at least 1 000 jobs over the next six months, along the West Coast Corridor," notes Kadlaie.
SIAC says it is differentiating itself from traditional accelerators by using a hybrid-innovation model.
Symbiosis looks to develop specific business functions and expertise in certain areas, such as a particular technology or an industry vertical, as well as leverage its existing capabilities and assets and making it accessible to various stakeholder groups.
"The centre is premised on a multi-sectoral-led business model deliberately seeking collaboration with various stakeholders across the public, private, non-profit sectors, as well as academia, small business enterprises and communities," says Symbiosis CEO Cornelius Scheepers.
"We are partnering with like-minded organisations in the private sector, academia as well as civil society, all centred around a vision of building a better South Africa for all South Africans."
In the week since its launch, SIAC has entered into heads of agreement with several partners, such as ATS and Fundamentals Training Centre. On the day of the launch, SIAC received over 150 applications for jobs at the centre and collected over 60 CVs that are now being processed.
The group says potential investors who are interested in supporting the centre's efforts have also come forward.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Date Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2017
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