Athlone youth training for big opportunities in Cape Town call centres
25 August 2021
This week, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos, conducted a site visit to Futur-ED, a community training centre in Athlone where youth are being upskilled to work in Cape Town’s fast-expanding call centre industry. Read more below:
This follows a partnership with CapeBPO, a City of Cape Town-funded Special Business Partner who facilitates youth training and job placement in the sector, while securing business opportunities with companies looking to grow their call centre footprint in Cape Town.
Futur-ED and CapeBPO first partnered together last year for ‘The day of 1 000 opportunities’ project when 1 000 unemployed youth from Athlone and surrounding areas were recruited and trained for work in the call centre sector.
‘Being on the ground and meeting the trainees and instructors in Athlone was an excellent opportunity for me to, once again, see what economic growth means for people in Cape Town.
‘The Mother City has become Africa’s call centre hub thanks to strong partnerships and a focused effort on landing big contract opportunities. Simultaneously, the industry has trained and placed thousands of youths in jobs. The sector employs more than 60 000 people in the city, with over 17 037 of them gaining employment in the last three years directly through CapeBPO,’ said Alderman Vos.
Futur-ED’S 2021 expansion has been significant thus far and has recently trained their first group of People with Disabilities (26 PWD candidates) within a purpose-built facility, while meeting the needs of wheelchair, epileptic and visually impaired youth. The e-learning campus currently houses 100 WebHelp Learners. One of the organisation’s greatest advantages is that it can rapidly deploy world-class facilities close to the homes of these youth. Its short-term objective is to scale from 200 to 500 seats by December 2021 in the contact and e-learning centres.
Additionally, Futur-ED is providing experiential learning to about 40 young people under the banner of the Cape Skills and Employment Accelerator Project.
The initiative was launched by the City of Cape Town in partnership with the National Skills Fund to create employment opportunities for marginalised youth and women. Under the programme, the City is contributing R55 million over three years towards training and work placement in companies in the call centre and clothing and textile sectors.
Cape Town is the first municipality to work with the National Skills Fund to roll out the programme.
‘The City designed this programme to provide skills pipelines for these high growth sectors and to supply trained and work-ready employees. In the call centre sector, operators are getting hands-on experience at facilities such as Futur-ED that will give them the skills to work for one of many multinational companies based in, and coming to, the city,’ said Alderman Vos.
Ismail Kaskar, the chairperson of Futur-ED’s parent company, Rutherglen Investments, said the training centre had made huge expansions in the past year.
‘The training facility has over the past year made significant strides in attracting, training and placing youth into the growing BPO sector. One of our greatest advantages has been our ability to rapidly deploy world-class facilities close to the homes of the youth,’ said Kaskar.
In addition to the jobs provided to thousands of people, the City’s funding towards upskilling in the sector has helped drive stellar economic benefits.
‘Between 2018 and 2021, the City of Cape Town, recognising the industry’s growth potential, supported it by allocating R28,5 million towards skills development and training. That has resulted in R3,4 billion in investments coming into the economy in these past three years.
‘Through continued work in this sector, we are sure to see even more amazing results,’ said Alderman Vos.