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Today I visited the innovative Zoe Incubation Academy in Delft where young Capetonians are being trained at the first community-based call centre in the Cape Town.

The City is supporting a pilot project that is currently training 42 unemployed youths and placing them with businesses in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector. The City of Cape Town is looking at further supporting the project based on the outcomes of this pilot. The incubation academy is creating a steady pipeline of highly skilled individuals who can be placed in any call centre across the city.

The BPO sector is one of the fastest growing and biggest job creators in Cape Town. The BPO industry creates 51 300 jobs in the Western Cape, with most of these opportunities located in the city.

The City has made R1 million available to the pilot project through our partnership with the Business Process Enabling South Africa Western Cape (BPeSA WC).

This state-of-the-art academy and call centre has the potential to disrupt the BPO sector with its innovative approach to technology and decentralized call centre, which is located closer to where people live rather than requiring expensive office space.

A project like this not only addresses our country’s high unemployment rate, poverty and other social ills but it has the potential to tap into Cape Town’s fast-growing fibre network and unlocking opportunities in communities not often thought of as leaders in tech innovation.

To tap into this digital revolution, the City must assist our youth to position themselves to take advantage of our economy’s growing sectors. This will create a more inclusive city.

This project is just one of many initiatives the City is running in support of the BPO industry. Other initiatives include the collaboration between the City of Cape Town, the Provincial Government of the Western Cape, EOH and BPeSA WC for the Mayor’s Jobs Fund pilot project aimed at providing training opportunities to 200 unemployed youths between the ages of 18 to 35 years.

Through BPeSA, the City is also investing in a number of different skills development programmes to ensure Capetonians have the required skills in demand by the sector. Altogether 175 beneficiaries are currently receiving 8-week-long work readiness training opportunities.

Another 30 young residents are receiving training thanks to the Team Leader Leadership and Management programme. Young people with leadership potential will be promoted to the team leader role once they have completed formal training. Their development will be monitored and they will receive coaching support.

The City of Cape Town prides itself on creating an environment for business to thrive and employing many more of our residents. Working together we can address the scourge of unemployment and instead create an opportunity city.

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