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Continued Growth and Net New Jobs Recorded by the Global Business Services Sector

The Global Business Services (GBS) sector in South Africa has again recorded growth and net new jobs in the third quarter of the financial year 2022, covering October to December 2022. According to the recently released BPESA Quarterly Jobs Report, a total of 6,058 net new international jobs were created in the period.

Through a global practice known as Impact Sourcing – intentional recruitment of individuals from marginalised communities, South Africa focuses on employing unemployed youth into the GBS and BPO sector. An additional sub-set of Impact Sourcing within the growing sector is ‘’inclusive hiring’’.  These inclusively hired individuals exceeded industry set targets of a quarterly 20%, recording at 31,6%.  Bringing this to life, that is young South Africans under the age of 34 who have been long time unemployed, six months or more, reside within a home where income is less than ZAR 6000 / month and / or attended a quintile 1, 2 or 3 school. This employment opportunity has the potential to be life-changing, providing not only a career but also hope for the individuals and their families. Additionally, these talented individuals proudly represent South Africa while engaging with a global customer base.

The report further shows that youth workers continued to make up the bulk of new hires in the quarter, accounting for 89% of new jobs. Frontline, voice-based contact centre agents employed during this period accounted for 82% of new hires or 4,988 jobs.  Top three industries being serviced include 36,64% of in the utilities & energy industry, retail & commercial accounted for 21,51% and the insurance industry showing growth at 11,90%.  The United Kingdom continues to dominate although at a lower percentage, now 55% with the fastest growing source market being the USA at 27% of export market share.

According to the report, the South African GBS sector is recognized for its significant representation of both genders and ethnicities, which is a crucial aspect of South Africa's transformation agenda. This diversity is also increasingly important for the international buying community, which emphasizes DEI - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Demographic breakdown of employee’s recorded over the 2020 to 2022 reflects that 56% of workers in the GBS sector are black, 31% coloured or mixed race, 9% Indian and 4% white.

In addition, as a focused effort on reskilling, upskilling, and future skilling the employee community, 20,630 GBS staff received training and skills development between October to December 2022.  This remains an important focus for BPESA who through their broad skills strategy including the Future Skills Platform, careers awareness initiatives, leadership bootcamps and work-seeker support services is committed to assisting the industry and the talent pool to connect for scale.

To ensure that the increasing demand is balanced with appropriate skills required for future hires, the industry as a collective is focusing on unlocking additional funding for relevant, demand-driven, and flexible training for entry-level and specialised skills.

The GBS and BPO sector has made a significant contribution to the economy of South Africa with the sector creating 20,121 jobs between January to December 2022, contributing $323 million to the country’s export revenue.

The GBS (Global Business Services) sector in South Africa has demonstrated significant progress in recent years, exhibiting exceptional resilience and adaptability during the pandemic. This has led to impressive growth, reflected in a 22% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) over the past four years, catapulting South Africa onto the offshore leader board. The sector's success can be attributed to various factors such as its agile and innovative approach to problem-solving, a skilled and empathetic workforce, favourable business conditions, and robust support from the government and private sector working together.

Commenting on the report, CEO of BPESA, Reshni Singh said: “The continued growth and net new jobs across the sector in this quarter is a testament to the commitment of our industry to embrace the opportunity to create more careers for South Africans, particularly for the youth and those from marginalised communities. We are confident that the industry will continue to record growth, add to economic upliftment, and continue to showcase the country’s ability to support global customers with our uniquely South African flair.”

To download the Third Quarter of Financial Year 2022 in the South African GBS Sector Report click HERE.


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