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BPO deal aims to create 900 new jobs in Durban

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Durban’s business process outsourcing (BPO) sector is set to benefit, as a new deal aims to create 900 direct call centre jobs and hundreds of supporting jobs.

So says CareerBox, which partnered with CCI South Africa, to facilitate the BPO partnership with US-based company Metro. Formerly MetroPCS, Metro is a wireless company owned by telecoms giant T-Mobile. It provides prepaid wireless services to the US market.

CareerBox offersfree training and skills development to unemployed young adults who wish to enter the BPO and contact centre industry. CCI is one of SA’s largest international contact centres, providing outsourced customer contact services.

In a statement, CareerBox says the Metro partnership putsSA on the map with the biggest players in the world, and has the potential to open doors for the wider industry and create tens of thousands of jobs.

Says Lizelle Strydom, MD of CareerBox: “Impact investing sets out to make a real, meaningful impact in the lives of people. Our partnership with CCI has proven that corporates and organisations such as ours can achieve big things if they share a common goal, which in our case is to improve the lives of underprivileged communities by creating jobs and giving young people a step-up to start long, fruitful careers.

“Metro is people-oriented; they want to make a meaningful impact in communities, which aligns with our vision. It’s not just direct contact centre agent jobs, there are career coaches, IT support, quality control and much more.”

News of the partnership deal follows Webhelp’s August announcement that it will open its Durban office, resulting in the recruitment of 300 new people.

It also comes as the KwaZulu-Natal BPO industry begins rebuilding efforts following recent violent demonstrations in that province and Gauteng, coupled with rising unemployment rates.

CCI South Africa MD Peter Andrew believes the deal has the potential to change the BPO landscape. “We will be growing from 140 agents to 900, excluding the other supporting jobs, in the coming months. This will take the total to almost 1 500 jobs. That’s the initial opportunity, because depending on our success and performance, this could scale up to many thousands more jobs.”

“Ultimately, all parties in this agreement were aligned on proving the success and sustainability of the impact investing model. This could well open many doors for other players in the BPO industry,” adds Andrew.

The contact centre jobs are for incoming customer service, says Strydom. “This will do wonders for the confidence of the agents – they are free to write their own scripts within a broad framework. In essence, they will be selling the Metro brand to a US customer base through a South African lens.

“This is a huge opportunity to put South Africa on the map and tackle our unemployment problem,” she says.

Andrew agrees: “This partnership, and its scalability, can show the world that we have the talent and resources in South Africa to compete with the best in the world in servicing a premier client.”

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