Today, 6 November 2020, saw the official opening of the BPO Academy at the College of Cape Town, Gardens Campus which will not only provide opportunities for young people to gain the necessary skills to graduate into an exciting career in the BPO sector, but importantly also ensures a talent pipeline for a fast-growing sector that is contributing significantly to job creation in Cape Town and the Western Cape.
The BPO Academy is also the first of its kind, in that it is a unique example of a learning and skills development initiative made possible through a partnership between both government and the private sector.
The initiative for the BPO Academy started with engagements between the Department of Economic Development and Tourism and the BPO sector which highlighted an increasing need for high quality BPO skills that would fulfill the demand of a fast-growing sector in Western Cape.
However, it is only as a result of a successful and committed partnership between government and private stakeholders that the opening of the BPO Academy today has been fully realised. These stakeholders include the Western Cape Government, City of Cape Town, Cape BPO and the public Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college, College of Cape Town.
It is this partnership that has resulted in close collaboration on the design of the curriculum offered at the BPO Academy to ensure graduates are workplace ready and have the relevant, high-quality skills that are endorsed by the Service SETA and required by the fast-growing BPO sector.
Initially focusing on voice skills, the curriculum at the BPO Academy will expand along the full BPO value chain of skills requirements including ICT, finance and accounting and other middle and back-office capabilities, offering young graduates that next step into a career in the BPO sector.
Welcoming guests to the event, CEO of the College of Cape Town, 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. We are very privileged to be a part of this, and grateful for the opportunity to add value to the BPO sector and create jobs, while growing the College of Cape Town.”
Confirming the City of Cape Town’s support for the BPO sector, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos, said, “The City of Cape Town will be contributing R55-million over the next three years for jobs training and placement in call centre companies, which has led to the launch of the BPO academy today. I am happy to have worked closely with the Western Cape Government, Department of Trade, Industry and Competition and the NSF to ensure this project was approved by full council. That is why we fund CapeBPO, as a Strategic Business Partner (SBP), to grow the industry. I am immensely proud that this partnership has resulted in the addition of 2 633 additional jobs in the last three months alone, despite the Covid-19 lockdown measures.”
The BPO sector has been a great example of resilience and adaption, and despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic has continued to contribute to job creation and economic growth in Cape Town and the Western Cape.
In fact, this year 5,000 additional jobs have been created in the BPO sector in Cape Town.
Commenting on the contribution of the BPO sector to job creation and the economy in the Western Cape, Western Cape Minister for Finance and Economic Opportunities, Minister David Maynier, said, “The BPO sector is an island of hope as it is one of only two sectors that created jobs in the Western Cape this year, and it plays an important role in creating opportunities for people and giving hope to people, especially young people, in Cape Town and the Western Cape. Which is why the BPO sector is one of the key sectors that we are showcasing as we present a common message to the world: that both Cape Town and the Western Cape province are open for business. I have no doubt that our investment in this sector will continue to pay dividends for years to come.”
The launch of the BPO Academy and the investments made over the medium-term are a clear indication of the support by both government and the private sector for the BPO sector which continues to play a significant role in job creation and economic growth in Cape Town and the Western Cape.
Thanking all the stakeholders involved, CEO of CapeBPO, Gareth Pritchard, said: “The launch of the BPO Academy today is the culmination of 10 years of hard work to establish a vibrant BPO sector in the Cape. The academy will not only accelerate the growth of talent to support the sector, it will also accelerate the interest of overseas investors considering bringing their business to our shores. What differentiates the Cape is the unique public/private sector partnerships which enables initiatives like this to be implemented.”