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We are delighted to share the GBS Sector jobs report for the quarter ending 31 December 2020. It has taken a while to publish as we needed to complete a lengthy process of reconciliation numbers across multiple sources, with lock down in 2020 also having impacted the timing of this process.

Nevertheless, the numbers are extremely positive and I’d like to use this opportunity to thank our global clients for their continued support and business, and to congratulate the operators who created 17,354 new jobs during the year of which 5,430 were created in Q4 alone.

Click here to download the latest GBS Sector Jobs Report

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After a second day at Africa Tech Week, bursting with tech trends and practical insights from speakers and acclaimed sponsors Vaxowave, Liquid Intelligent Solutions, Visa, PPC and Gijima, the overarching emotion is one of gratitude and the outlook optimistic. The main focus was strategies for living in a digital world - a reality that has abruptly arrived on the globe’s doorstep.

 

54 Million Jobs to be Created

As Zahra Baitie from the Jack Ma Foundation reiterated, Africa is a recently connected continent, new market and magnet for those seeking to make their mark on the world stage. Over the course of the two-day summit, Africa Tech Week certainly made a mark on the world stage! It is predicted that Africa will create 54 million jobs by 2022, largely generated by small and medium enterprises. According to Zahra, African women are twice as likely to start a business as women elsewhere in the world. Zahra maintained that African entrepreneurs have a massive opportunity to uplift the African community.

 

Africa boasts the Most Youthful Population in the World

According to Thomas Davin, global innovation director for UNICEF, approximately 60% of the African population is younger than 25, making Africa the most youthful population in the world. We need to upskill and equip Africa’s youth and ensure that they have access to technology and the internet. The education system is moving towards machine learning - enabling individual learning journeys. Thomas shed light on the notion that as humans change the way they interact with machines, they are more likely to change jobs (more so than previous generations).

 

The importance of Inclusivity

Honourable Emma Imamutila Theofelus, Namibian Deputy Minister of ICT passionately encouraged inclusivity regarding women in the workplace and in leadership. Afterall, women are the forerunners of the 4th digital revolution. Lawrence Reddy, Cloud CTO of Vaxowave SA, in a session sponsored by Vaxowave spoke on when cloud patterns become antipatterns. Vaxowave’s expertise includes cloud technology, and security. Their main objective is to provide clients, from across sectors, value from cloud technologies.

In a panel discussion, on building the future banking experience and how digital infrastructure facilitates economic growth, hosted by Visa, Aldo Laubscher, general manager of Visa,South Africa was quoted saying that, “regulation is going to be the maker or the breaker of African Free Trade." Terry Behan, executive head of design for Nedbank, in a session hosted by Nedbank on building a distinctive platform experience with AVO - Africa’s first super app, highlighted that their job is to connect consumers, entrepreneurs and businesses together, for societal gain.

 

An Optimistic Forecast

Tim Mitchell, head of digital transformation at Flux Labs highlighted that in 5 years time, the platform economy is forecast to be worth 60 trillion dollars. Enver Groenewald, group chief executive officer at Ogilvy SA described how both effectiveness and efficiency should be driven from the top. He reiterated that you either disrupt or be disrupted. In a panel discussion hosted by Liquid Intelligent Technologies on how Liquid Intelligent Technologies is building Africa’s digital future, the importance of vehement investment in local distribution, partnerships, people, teams and infrastructure was addressed. “We need to think globally and act locally,” according to Sandile Ntsele, chief financial officer at Liquid Intelligent Technologies, SA.

“African Time,” previously loaded with negative connotations, has been reclaimed. “African Time,” in fact, makes reference to the fast-paced and innovative way Africa is hurtling ahead towards digitisation.

MEDIA RELEASE

DATE: 9 APRIL 2021

SOUTH AFRICA RANKED THE TOP GLOBAL BUSINESS SERVICES SECTOR LOCATION FOR 2021 AND SECTOR ADDS NEW JOBS TO THE ECONOMY.

In a boost to business confidence, South Africa has won an award as the top global location for business process services, in a sector that is rapidly expanding locally and exporting call-centre and related services to other parts of the world.

Last night the country was named as the Most Favoured Offshore CX Delivery Location for 2021, in the Annual Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey.

This is a welcome achievement for the South African business service industry, which has positioned itself as one of the premier locations internationally for business services. It comes on top of a growth in jobs due to enhanced-partnerships with government.

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South Africa awarded Top 2021 Most Favored Global Offshore CX Delivery Location

The 8th April saw Ryan Strategic Advisory along with the CX Outsoucers team and a great line-up of global thought leaders announcing the outcome of the Annual Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey, 2021 Most Favored Offshore CX Delivery Location award. South Africa, after three consecutive years in a humbling second place, has emerged as the number one global preferred front office CX offshore location.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated technological advances and the automation of many routine tasks – from contactless cashiers to robots delivering packages. In this environment, many are concerned that artificial intelligence (AI) will drive significant automation and destroy jobs in the coming decades.

Just a few decades ago, the internet created similar concerns as it grew. Despite skepticism, the technology created millions of jobs and now comprises 10% of US GDP. Today, AI is poised to create even greater growth in the US and global economies. Sixty-three percent of CEOs believe AI will have a larger impact than the internet, according to PwC’s Annual Global CEO Survey.

While Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies driven by AI will continue to fundamentally change the world and the way we work and live, AI may not lead to massive unemployment. Instead, AI technology will create more jobs than it automates.

These newly created jobs will require new skills and necessitate significant investment in upskilling and reskilling young people and adults. But businesses and governments can – and must – work together to address this transition and embrace the positive societal benefits of AI.

Article Source - World Economic Forum

Click here to view the report

Driving Recovery in South Africa’s BPO Industry - Two powerful webinars were hosted by BPESA in September 2020 featuring Meleza Growth Accelerator – an initiative borne from McKinsey & Company’s social responsibility commitment.
Download the presentations and audio from the sessions. You can also read the support article which looks at the potential and opportunity for the BPO sector to create jobs in South Africa and move beyond the crisis.

Article: https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/middle-east-and-africa/driving-economic-recovery-in-south-africas-bpo-industry?cid=soc-app

Webinar - Session 1 - Growth and competitiveness of the South African BPO sector
Growth and competitiveness of SA BPO sector PDF
Growth and competitiveness of SA BPO sector Audio

Webinar - Session 2 – Operating Model for BPO players in the post-COVID world
Operating Model for BPO players in the post-COVID world PDF
Operating Model for BPO players in the post-COVID world Audio

The South African Global Business Services (GBS) sector continues to buck the trend; not only has it pioneered best practice in 'keeping the lights on', but it is a sector that has arguably thrived in a global economic lockdown.

In South Africa, GBS extends across multiple sectors including finance and accounting, telecommunications and media, human resources and even legal services. As a result of innovative technology that is the backbone of the sector, operations were able to pivot to agile working arrangements including work from home, scaled down on-site operations and/or blended working models. This ability to maintain operations, keep workers employed and service a global market was strongly endorsed by Minister Patel of Trade, Industry and Competition as a blueprint for business in all stages of the highly regulated lockdown.

Fresh from raking in $250 million (R4 billion) worth of investments during the past financial year, South Africa’s business process outsourcing (BPO) market continues to thrive during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The industry is looking to hire as many as half a million employees in the next 10 years, if market conditions permit.

So says Andy Searle, CEO of non-profit organisation Business Process Enabling South Africa (BPESA), in an e-mail interview with ITWeb.

In a boost to the local BPO sector, US-based tech giant Amazon last month announced it is recruiting in SA to fill 3 000 new virtual job vacancies in customer service this year.

The interview with Searle followed BPESA joining 11 other independent regional organisations serving the BPO sector, also known as the global business services (GBS) sector, to create the Global Technology and Business Services Council.

The council comprises the leading GBS locations servicing over 10 000 organisations, including multi-nationals, indigenous tech companies, SMEs and start-ups.

How can South Africa embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) to rekindle economic growth and transformation, revitalise skills, and create high-quality jobs in large numbers?1 And how can the country mitigate the risk that the 4IR will lead to job losses – given that unemployment today stands at 29 percent, its highest level in a decade?

These questions have been top of mind for leaders from across the public, private, labour and education sectors – and are the focus of the Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

An Industry in the Spotlight

The Call Centre Industry in South Africa has been recognised globally for its ability to function as an essential service from the onset of Level 5 of the lock down, ensuring that critical services continued to be delivered with minimal disruption to private and public sector clients locally and internationally.

This recognition of government support and collaboration with business is raising our profile in global markets and is steadily translating into new business opportunities for South Africa, the most recent being the publicly announced commitment by Amazon to increase its workforce by 3,000 people, all in work from home roles – something for which we have only proven our capabilities during lock down. This is all due to the collaboration of industry players and the support of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition and the Department of Health.

"This special adjustments budget sets out government’s initial economic and fiscal response to COVID-19. It fast-tracks normal processes to provide resources to frontline services, provincial and local government, and firms and households, with a focus on the most vulnerable South Africans. It also underlines our commitment to stabilise the public finances and enact reforms that will promote trade, investment and job creation.

The oft-overused word “unprecedented” is appropriate in this case. The pandemic is expected to lead to the sharpest global economic downturn since the Second World War and the biggest overall decline in countries’ per capita incomes in 150 years. In 2020, the output of developing economies is expected to contract for the first time in at least 60 years.

Amazon just announced 3,000 open jobs in SA, and you only need matric – here’s how to apply

Amazon has announced that it will be hiring for 3,000 new customer-service jobs in South Africa. The jobs are work-from-home, come with benefits, and applications open today.

“We are thrilled with the talent in South Africa and we are excited… to help keep people working during this unprecedented time,” said the company in a statement.

Amazon is calling the positions “virtual jobs” as you don’t need to be in an office, and can work from home. You do need your own, dedicated internet connection, but the company will help pay for that.

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