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The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector, which involves the provision of contact centre and telephonic customer services, is truly living up to the projections of being a key growth sector. Just last year the sector created nearly 6 000 jobs in Cape Town.

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), essentially call centre operations, is a key sector that brings in investment and creates employment opportunities. The powerful partnership between the City and our Strategic Business Partner, Business Process Enabling South Africa (BPeSA WC), created 6 000 job opportunities last year and generated investment to the value of R4,7 billion over the last five years.

Almost 60 000 people are employed in this industry making it a priority sector. These impressive achievements are set to be improved on as existing call centres are increasing their workforce.

Cape Town is fast becoming the call centre hub on the continent. Recently, we met with representatives from Teleperformance Global, one of the world’s biggest call centre companies, about future investments. These engagements will be strengthened this year to provide potential investors with a compelling case to consider Cape Town as a preferred business and investment destination.

There is great demand for these services in Cape Town by both local and international businesses. That is why we will continue working with our partners and industry to support this sector and help to establish many more call centres in all parts of the city. Key to ensuring the expansion of this sector is the availability of skills.

For our city to compete globally and achieve inclusive socio-economic growth, we continue to invest in skills and training for the sectors that are poised for substantial growth, instead of training for the sake of training.

To achieve this objective, just last year I had the pleasure of announcing the establishment of the Cape Skills and Employment Accelerator Project. I am very proud of this project as it is the first of its kind in the country. The City of Cape Town is the first municipality to receive funds from a national government entity, the National Skills fund, to partly fund this important and exciting initiative.

With funding from the City of Cape Town and the National Skills fund, this project will offer roughly 3 300 learners the opportunity for training and workplace experience in the BPO and Clothing and Textile sectors.

Through this new Cape Skills and Employment Accelerator Project as well as the numerous other City funded skills programmes run by our Strategic Business Partners, my department continues to work to ensure that key sectors have the skills pipelines they need to drive demand for their products and ultimately create employment opportunities for our residents.

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