Youth training initiatives & economic shifts position SA as major international business outsourcing
By: Business Process Enabling South Africa
According to Andy Searle, CEO of Business Process Enabling South Africa a non-profit organisation responsible for promoting South Africa as a services delivery destination, these initiatives, along with several other factors, have favourably positioned the country as a global destination for outsourced projects.
Searle's comments are supported by a recent McKinsey report, which views the country's strong operational and service capabilities in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector as among the reasons that service exports have been identified as an inclusive growth sector in its "South Africa Big Five" report.
In particular, the nation's standing as a key BPO player has been reinforced over the past six months. While lockdown measures to contain the Coronavirus compromised business continuity across the world, South African contact centres were quick to migrate to remote working models and were able to remain operational with minimal disruption for clients.
Potential and existing outsourced services offerings extend across multiple industry sectors including finance and accounting, telecommunications and media, human resources and even legal services. Opportunities include call centres, shared and education services, animation, gaming and robotics
South Africa has seen a 22 percent annual increase in international business services (GBS) projects over the past four years.
Youth tech training bears fruit. But mostly it is the impact of government policy and effective training of young talent in South Africa that has had the biggest impact, and which has enabled the country to begin managing projects of global size, scope and scale.
Searle explains, "Large scale investment in training of mainly youth, excluded from access to good employment opportunities by various social, economic and spatial constraints, has strengthened South Africa's value proposition immeasurably, where so much value is placed on the distinguished quality of service these young people deliver. The digital skills partnership and the initiatives of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition have been pivotal.
"South Africa is now well-positioned to move up the value chain with its offshore service offering and to attract work back to the country that was previously off-shored, thanks to significant upskilling in information technology and data science over the past five years. And with the proven entrepreneurial skill of local players, the future looks bright for many bright and ambitious young South Africans," Searle concludes.