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Cape Town sees boom in international call centre jobs

Simnikiwe Mzekandaba
By Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, IT in government editor
Johannesburg, 19 Oct 2022

Between January and September, 4 100 new international-facing call centre jobs were created in the City of Cape Town’s business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.

This is in line with industry forecasts that tipped the sector for see “phenomenal” growth, a plus for SA’s future employment prospects.

For the second consecutive year, SA came up as this year’s most favoured CX offshore delivery point, according the annual Ryan Strategic Advisory Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey.

The city points out that Cape Town and the Western Cape are the most sought-after locations for offshore CX delivery in the country, improving market share to 65% of all delivery in SA in the past year.

Alderman James Vos, the city’s mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and asset management, comments: “Even more offices are scheduled to open in the last months of 2022. We have helped to hone talent in this city and global businesses are recognising it.”

Alderman James Vos.
Alderman James Vos.

For the City of Cape Town, the BPO sector, commonly referred to as the call centre sector, has been earmarked as a priority industry for employment creation.

Earlier this year, the city revealedthe international BPO market in Cape Town contributed around R14 billion to the metro’s economy in 2021.

It was previously indicated that more than 69 000 people now work in Cape Town’s BPO sector.

According to CapeBPO, Cape Town was able to build on its reputation and attract new clients, primarily from the US and UK, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

To further highlight Cape Town’s booming call centre industry and expose young people to its job opportunities, the city initiated a ‘BPO bootcamp’, which Vos visited at the weekend.

The programme commenced on 1 October and will run through to January 2023, with a goal to train grade 11 learners and matriculants at 40 schools.

The bootcamp sees the pupils taken through a three-day work readiness programme, with contact centre operators on hand to share information about potential learnerships.

Says Vos: “Thanks to the city’s investment in skills development and promoting Cape Town as an ideal call centre hub via our industry partner, CapeBPO, the metro has indeed become a world-renowned and sought-after destination for BPO companies. It’s important that we expose young Capetonians to the opportunities that await them in this industry.”

In addition, Cape Town funds several skills development programmes, including the Cape Skills and Employment Accelerator project. Launched a year ago, the project has trained thousands of unemployed and previously disadvantaged individuals for the BPO sector.

“The city is proudly directing more funding towards the Cape Skills project so that more Capetonians can access those opportunities and to see this economy reach new heights,” according to the mayoral committee member.

To apply for a spot in the programme, register on the Skills Portal platform.

Successful applicants are then selected for a 12-month programme with CapeBPO, during which time they will receive accredited training, a monthly stipend allowance and workplace experience at employer sites in Cape Town.