May 2021 2nd Edition

Training programme uplifts youth

Written by Sphelele Ngubane

The Western Cape government is assisting unemployed youth to find experiential learning opportunities. MEC David Maynier with youth who have been placed with business process outsourcing companies after participating in the Work and Skills Training Programme.

The Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism has secured 1 166 full-time jobs for youth who have completed its Work and Skills Training Programme.

A further 534 older people also took part in the programme and they too have been offered full-time contracts with companies in the province’s business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.

Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier says in addition to the training programme, the department has allocated R98.82 million over the medium term to provide 3 000 unemployed youth with experiential learning opportunities in the BPO sector.

BPO work involves front office customer services, such as marketing, human resources, accounting and tech support, and back office business functions, such as purchasing and billing.

South Africa is one of the globally preferred countries for BPO services.

In the recent Ryan Strategic Advisory Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey, South Africa was voted as the most favoured offshore BPO destination in 2021.

The programme partners with government, civil society and business to create experiential learning and work placement opportunities for unemployed youth in the Western Cape.

Participants, who are between the ages of 18 and 35, are paid stipends of between R3 000 and R3 500 to support work placements of between four and 12 months. They receive on-the-job training in critical skills areas.

MEC Maynier recently visited WNS, a global BPO company in Cape Town, where 234 youth were offered permanent work placements.

“It was great to hear directly from these young people how the programme has changed their lives, prepared them with necessary technical and soft skills for the workplace and given them hope by providing them with permanent jobs,” he said.

The high level of unemployment among school graduates with good communication skills offers a significant talent supply opportunity to global players in the BPO sector, the MEC added.

“We have seen an exceptionally high up-take of young people moving into permanent employment following their work placements in the BPO sector,”
 he said.

To find out more about the Work and Skills Training Programme contact the department at 021 483 9226.

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