News : Rockefeller Grant Ups BPO Skills
Johannesburg, Sept 3, 2014 -- BPeSA has received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation for a skills development initiative to train thousands of disadvantaged youth across SA.
The business process outsourcing (BPO)/contact centre industry association says the grant will support its digital BPO learning platform.
The Gaming Environment for Online Recruitment and Career Empowerment in South Africa (GEFORCE SA) initiative uses game mechanics to promote learning content.
Users will get involved in the workings of the BPO industry via various game components and animation. The initiative will focus on career awareness, talent and skill identification, and job placements.
"Skills development is major focus area for the BPO industry," says Gareth Pritchard, CEO of BPeSA. "If the industry keeps growing at its current rate, there could potentially be a shortage of staff which would have a serious impact on new investment coming into the country.
"Gamification consists of a platform that can help us reach thousands of learners in a relatively short space of time, which is what we aim to capitalise on. The Rockefeller Foundation has seen the potential of this industry, and we are excited to have them on board as we pursue more opportunities."
According to BPeSA, the country's BPO/contact centre industry employs over 210 000 people and is one of the major sources of employment for the youth market. It is anticipated the project will reach about 15% of the total talent pool, playing a key role in the development of the industry, it notes.
"We are delighted to be partnering with BPeSA to expand opportunities for SA's disadvantaged youth by building the critical digital skills required to prepare them for the jobs of today and the future," says Mamadou Biteye, MD of the Rockefeller Foundation Africa regional office.
"Through our Digital Jobs Africa initiative, we are working with a number of organisations in SA to grow this industry and have aligned all these projects to ensure they have the maximum impact on the skills landscape in SA.
"Though gamification is still a relatively new concept in SA, it is one that will benefit an increasingly tech-savvy talent pool, and serves as an ideal platform to train and develop talent on mass," notes Biteye.
Formula D interactive, which develops learning concepts and products aimed at making education fun and accessible, will be involved in the development of the platform.
GEFORCE SA will be launched in 2015 and rolled out across SA, with a long-term strategy to expand into Africa.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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BPESA operates both as a specialist investment promotion agency for business process outsourcing (including contact centres) and as a national trade association and networking body for the industry. The mandate of BPESA is to create jobs. It does this by raising awareness of the industry’s potential internationally thereby assisting in attracting new investments. It achieves this by helping to create an enabling environment for investments to thrive and grow – developing the skills base, supporting SMEs, and providing linkages to national and regional government, ensuring the implementation of pro-growth policies. BPESA’s mission to promote job creation in the South Africa BPO industry. This is achieved through the promotion of: • Investment • Networking/Industry Development • Skills Development
Published: Friday, September 5, 2014