Cape Town plans to expand its business process outsourcing (BPO) Afterschools programme, targeting to train another 1 000 young people over the next few months.
This comes after the city-funded initiative completed training of 1 000 young Capetonians for a career in the call centre industry.
The BPO Afterschools programme is administered by CapeBPO, the city’s strategic business partner responsible for the growth and development of the BPO industry.
In a statement, the city says among the group that participated in the training were unemployed youths, as well as grade 11 and 12 school-goers from areas such as Athlone, Nyanga, Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and Mitchells Plain.
The objective of the project was to provide access to a community-based call centre, where learners gain first-hand exposure to the industry and its opportunities, it notes.
“Youth unemployment is a major concern in South Africa that coincides with the dearth of skills across multiple sectors. But with programmes such as this, the city is getting ahead of this crisis by opening a door for the young,” says alderman James Vos, the city’s mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and asset management.
The BPO sector, sometimes referred to as the call centre sector, has been tipped as a catalyst in the fight against joblessness, particularly among local youth.
The global BPO market was said to be valued at $261.9 billion in 2022, with South Africa accounting for 1% of global revenue during the same period.
South Africa has also fast become one of the most favoured locations internationally for BPO companies, with the sector targeting 500 000 new jobs by 2030, based on industry estimates.
The 2023 Ryan Strategic Advisory Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey named SA as the most favoured offshore customer experience delivery point.
The City of Cape Town has earmarked the BPO sector as a priority industry for employment creation.
As a result, through programmes like Afterschools and the Cape Skills and Employment Accelerator, the city indicates it is committed towards training Capetonians for the sector.
“Each business development, job and upskilled person is an investment in Cape Town that helps more young people start their careers and provide for themselves and their families,” states Vos.