Cape Town, South Africa, Nov 10, 2020 -- The BPO (business process outsourcing) sector was one of only two sectors that created jobs in the Western Cape, providing 5 160 jobs from April to September this year.
This is according to Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier, who spoke at the launch of the BPO Academy at the College of Cape Town in Gardens at the weekend.
"This success can be directly attributed to the impressive speed at which the BPO sector responded to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and picking up market share as many industries such as tourism and travel, insurance and healthcare were massively disrupted and relied on call centres to resolve customer queries," Maynier said.
"The BPO sector provided considerable support to the provincial government at the start of the Covid-19 crisis," he added.
"At the start of the nationwide lockdown, our call centre started receiving an unprecedented number of calls, increasing to almost 14?000 calls a day from previously only receiving a few hundred calls a day.
"We asked Cape BPO for help and they immediately put out an appeal to call centre service providers across the Western Cape. Two of these providers, SA Commercial and MindPearl, in turn, quickly mobilised to assist with technical solutions and agent capacity. This benefited many people in the province during a very difficult time."
The BPO Academy is the first public TVET College in the province that presents BPO training that directly addresses the need of the BPO sector.
Mayco Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, James Vos, said: "The City of Cape Town will contribute R55 million over the next three years for jobs training and placement in call centre companies.
"We worked closely with the Province, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition and the National Skills Fund to ensure this project was approved by full council. That is why we fund Cape BPO, as a strategic business partner, to grow the industry.
"This partnership has resulted in 2?633 additional jobs in the last three months alone, despite the lockdown."
College of Cape Town principal Louis van Niekerk said: "The launch of the BPO Academy at the College of Cape Town Gardens campus is an important milestone for the college which seeks to improve responsiveness to industry workforce needs."
Department of Trade, Industry and Competition director-general Lionel October said: "The success of Germany shows everything is about skills. Once you get that right you can compete with anyone."
Cape BPO chief executive Gareth Pritchard said: "This BPO Academy is one of a kind in sub-Saharan Africa."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Thursday, November 12, 2020
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