Call centre opportunity for unemployed youth

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Cape Town alderman Theresa Uys is flanked by the 16 young people participating in the 12-month learnership programme.
Cape Town alderman Theresa Uys is flanked by the 16 young people participating in the 12-month learnership programme.

The City of Cape Town has appointed 16 young people as call centre agents at its 24-hour customer relations call centre, as part of a year-long learnership programme.

It hopes the youth will be absorbed by the Cape’s thriving business process outsourcing (BPO) sector once their training is complete.

The city, in partnership with CapeBPO, sourced the appointed youth from areas across Cape Town, providing them with a learnership that offers practical experience within the workplace, according to a statement.

The city is the host employer for the learnership and once the training at the city’s call centre has been completed, they will receive a contact centre learnership certification, an equivalent to NQF4.

“It gives me great pleasure to see these deserving individuals receive an opportunity to prove themselves in the workplace. Many of these students were unemployed, qualified graduates who needed an opportunity to enter the job market,” says alderman Theresa Uys, thecity’s mayoral committee member for corporate services.

“Through partnering with CapeBPO, the city gained access to a list of capable and ambitious candidates who want to make their mark and pursue their career goals by using this opportunity to their full advantage. We believe this learnership will provide them with a solid stepping stone in their career path. I am looking forward to seeing them flourish during their time at the city.”

In Cape Town, the provincial government has earmarked the BPO sector, which is also referred to as the call centre sector, as a priority industry to boost the local economy and extend job opportunities to more Capetonians.

In addition, the city last year launched the Cape Skills and Employment Accelerator project in partnership with the National Skills Fund, to create employment opportunities for marginalised youth and women in the fast-growing BPO sector.

The city’s newly-appointed call centre agents are from Grassy Park, Retreat, Khayelitsha, Kraaifontein, Delft, Dunoon and Gugulethu, among others.

Robyn Abrahams (25), from Retreat, who is one of the students, states: “Being an employee at the City of Cape Town is every unemployed person’s dream job. When I was appointed as a learner through the city, it was like a dream becoming reality, as I’ve heard many successful stories that come from these learnerships.

“Within these 12 months, I am only aiming to achieve greatness. My short-term goal is to put theory into practice, and to leave our customers happy. My long-term goal is to become a permanent employee of the city and utilise my diploma in human resource management to the benefit of the city and the residents.”

Zusange Mjakada, 23, from Grassy Park, also received the learnership opportunity and believes it will help her learn and develop new skills.

“When I was at the University of Cape Town, I always dreamed of working for the City of Cape Town; now that I am part of the team it feels like a dream come true. This learnership is a great stepping stone in my career and I am grateful for this opportunity. Over the next year, I will bring forth my best abilities and I will work very hard to prove that I am a great asset.”

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