‘’Call centre industry a beacon of hope for South Africa’s unemployed youth’’

The experience of working at call centres differs from one company to the next according to one worker. Photo: Pexels

The experience of working at call centres differs from one company to the next according to one worker. Photo: Pexels

Published Apr 24, 2023


Amid South Africa’s unemployment crisis, there remains a spark in the darkness, a hope for young people: the call centre industry.

This is according to EduPower Skills Academy managing director Rajan Naidoo, who said the call centre industry in South Africa had become a significant employer in recent years, providing jobs for thousands of people across the country.

“More than 270 000 people currently work in the industry, and recent reports estimate this will grow to around 775 000 jobs by 2030.

“This is great news for South African youngsters as the sector provides job seekers with access to a rewarding career as well as further skills training and work experience, delivering much-needed economic and social relief for South African families,’’ he said.

However, call centre worker Mbali Chiya objected that the sector could provide economic stability. Chiya recalled working in a prominent call centre in uMhlanga, KwaZulu Natal.

‘’It was horrible, and I was depressed. The pay was extremely low, and management mistreated us a lot. Even when I earned extra money, I never received it. There was absolutely no room for growth, and the work environment was toxic as a whole,’’ Chiya said.

She added that the experience of working at a call centre differs from one company to the next. Chiya now works for one located in Durban, and she said it’s a complete contrast to her previous workplace.

‘’Where I currently work now is fairly good, it has its bad days, but overall, it’s not unbearable. For the campaign I am currently working on, I would say that the salary is fair. The issue can be when it comes to the commission because it is never suitable for the work you put in.’’

Naidoo said here is why you should consider a career in a call centre:

No experience required

Most call centre jobs are entry-level, and all that is generally required to apply is a matric certificate. Unlike most roles, previous experience is not usually a prerequisite.

More rapid advancement

Whilst it’s fair comment that call centres often have a high employee turnover as it is a fast-paced environment not suited to everyone, people who thrive in this environment can do well – and so can their careers. That’s why most call centres offer opportunities for advancement, including supervisory and management positions.

Access to in-house training

Training is part of the experience when you work in a call centre. This allows you to develop new skills and enhance existing ones, such as communication and multitasking.

Fun work environment

It’s expensive to recruit and train call centre agents, so these businesses are at the forefront of employee engagement initiatives. From senior leadership to team leaders, everyone is committed to ensuring that you enjoy coming to work.

Better basic pay

Call centre jobs generally offer a higher basic salary than most entry-level positions. However, many companies will incentivise employees to meet and exceed their targets, so your earnings are really up to how much effort you are prepared to put in.

IOL Business