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BPO firm Sigma takes on 1 300 hires, accelerates growth

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Cape Town-based outsourcing specialist Sigma says it has created1 300 new jobs in the last 12 months, after signing on a number of large new clients and experiencing growth from existing clients.

Sigma, which offers call centre services to the energy, utilities and financial services sectors, says it filled the 1 300 vacancies during 2021, and over 60% of the new hires came from disadvantaged backgrounds and communities in Western Cape.

The company says additional contact centre and management roles will be added next year, with the business looking to expand beyond its Western Cape offices in Diep River and Retreat.

The business process outsourcing (BPO) sector has been identified as one of the green shoots that will steer economic reconstruction and recovery.

With SA’s unemployment rate now the highest in the world, the industry has been tipped as a catalyst for the country’s employment prospects.

The BPO industry is targeting 500 000 new jobs by 2030, based on industry estimates.

In Cape Town alone, the BPO has attracted R3.4 billion worth of investments over the last three years, fuelling economic growth and employment in the city.

Commenting on the role Sigma played this year in creating jobs, David Neale, managing director of Sigma Connected SA, says the company weathered the impact of COVID-19 and created more opportunities for locals.

“We are delighted to add almost 1 300 new people to our teams in Western Cape. They have been fully trained over an intensive three-week period, which we hope gives them new life skills and experiences.

“The fact that we have managed to take on hundreds of hugely talented people from disadvantaged backgrounds makes the recruitment drive all the more special, not forgetting being able to promote over 70 people into leadership and support roles this year alone.

“We work very closely to the impact sourcing model, which enables large businesses like us to source talent locally, and ultimately, help struggling communities to thrive and develop. We hope that gives something back to communities across Western Cape.”

Furthermore, Neale says Sigma is working with South African young employment initiative, Shadow Careers, helping to provide work opportunities for “excluded and unemployed” people aged 18 to 34.

He notes that over 20 new employees joined Sigma through Shadow Careers in November alone.

Franco Cotumaccio, CEO and co-founder of Shadow Careers, comments: “The true spirit of partnership that Sigma Connected has brought to the [Shadow Careers] programme has delivered exceptional results, not just from the outset but through the smooth transition of young people into their business where they supported and nurtured them to become part of the Sigma family.”

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