NATIONAL NEWS - We welcome the announcement that South Africa has been voted the most favoured offshore Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) destination in 2021, according to the annual Ryan Strategic Advisory Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey.
The fact is that the Western Cape is responsible for 65% of the BPO market in South Africa, and so we are proud to contribute to this ranking which considers the views of 628 enterprise contact centre decision-makers across the demand markets of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and the USA.
The Western Cape is an attractive destination for global BPO companies as a result of our highly skilled talent pipeline who offer high empathy, cultural affinity and niche domain skills.
We also offer world-class infrastructure and enabling environments together with investment incentives and good quality of life.
As a result, the BPO sector is an “island of hope” as it is one?of only two sectors that created jobs in the Western Cape last year. It is a great example of business resilience and adaption, which despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, has created 7 354 additional jobs in the last year in the Western Cape.
Research indicates that the BPO sector continues to have a high potential for employment and that there are still significant opportunities to grow the province’s global market share. Which is why we are working with industry representatives and businesses in the sector to develop an aggressive strategy for growth in the Western Cape.
This strategy will focus on marketing the destination to global BPO companies, and creating an enabling environment for businesses in Cape Town and the Western Cape which includes developing a talent pipeline of skilled young people ready to step into the new roles created.
Just last week I announced that through our Work & Skills programme we have created 1 166 full-time jobs in the BPO sector through the Department of Economic Development and Tourism’s Work and Skills programme in the last financial year.
And, as a result of the success of our Work and Skills programme, we have allocated a further R98,82 million over the medium term to provide 3 000 unemployed youth with experiential learning opportunities in the BPO sector.
We are proud of the success of our Work and Skills programme which partners with government, civil society and business to create experiential learning and work placement opportunities for unemployed youth in the Western Cape.
Through these co-funded programmes, we provide stipends of between R3 000 to R3 500, to support 4- to 12-month work placements for young people between the ages of 18 and 35 years, giving them on-the-job training in critical skills areas.
The high level of unemployment amongst school graduates with good communication skills offers a significant talent supply opportunity to global players in the BPO sector, and so we have seen an exceptionally high up-take of young people moving into permanent employment following their work placements in the BPO sector.
We will continue to prioritise our skills development initiatives in this sector so that we can create more jobs, especially for young people, in the Western Cape.
And the BPO sector will continue to be one of the key sectors that we showcase as we present a common message to the world: that both Cape Town and the Western Cape are open for business.
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