BPO sector success and growth creates island of hope in Western Cape
Cape Town - Other than agriculture, the only sector that created jobs in the Western Cape last year, the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector, has been described as an island of hope.
According to Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier, 1 166 full-time jobs were created in the sector through the Department of Economic Development and Tourism’s work and skills programme in the past financial year.
Maynier said: “This means that 69% of the 1 700 young people who took part in the programme have been offered full-time contracts with companies in the BPO sector in the Western Cape.
“As a result we have allocated a further R98.8 million over the medium term to provide 3 000 unemployed youth with experiential learning opportunities in the BPO sector.”
Maynier was speaking during a visit to WNS, a global BPO company based in Cape Town, where 234 young people have been offered permanent work placements following the completion of their on-the-job training.
The co-funded programmes provide stipends of between R3 000 to R3 500, to support four- to 12-month work placements for young people between the ages of 18 and 35, giving them on-the-job training in critical skills areas.
BPO comprises front-office customer services such as tech support, and back-office business functions like billing.
Meanwhile, South Africa has been voted the most favoured offshore BPO destination in 2021, according to the annual Ryan Strategic Advisory Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey of more than 600 executives from eight key sourcing markets, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said: “This is truly a remarkable achievement. In a short time, our country has propelled itself from a relatively unknown destination for offshore customer service delivery, in the shadow of large competitors such as India and the Philippines, to the very forefront of the global industry.”
Ramaphosa listed some of the advantages that made South Africa an attractive destination for business services. He said these included a sophisticated digital infrastructure, a young, dynamic and skilled workforce and a high level of English proficiency.