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South Africa's GBS Industry Thrives, Providing Opportunities for Youth Employment in Q4 2023

The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Global Business Services (GBS) sector in South Africa, proudly announced yet another wave of positive job creation results. The recently released BPESA Quarterly Jobs Report indicates significant growth and the generation of 4,569 net new international jobs within the Global Business Services sector during the fourth quarter of the financial year 2023 covering the January to March 2023 period.

The report highlights the ongoing success of the GBS & BPO sector in South Africa, reaffirming its position as a key driver of employment opportunities and economic growth. The remarkable increase in creation of jobs demonstrates the industry's unwavering commitment to nurturing careers for South Africans, particularly youth and individuals stemming from marginalized communities.

With a steadfast dedication to Impact Sourcing, a global practice aimed at recruiting individuals from marginalised communities, South Africa has shown success in providing employment opportunities for the country's unemployed youth into the GBS and BPO sector. A subset of this practice, known as 'inclusive hiring,' has surpassed industry targets, with 40.5% of inclusively hired individuals meeting the criteria set for quarterly employment goals. These talented individuals not only contribute to the sector but also represent South Africa with pride while engaging with a diverse global customer base.

The BPESA Quarterly Jobs Report further highlights the significant contribution of youth workers, accounting for 91% of the new hires during the quarter. Frontline, voice-based contact center agents dominated the new job landscape, making up 75% of the fresh recruits, totalling 3,433 positions. This further goes to show that despite the rise in AI, the human touch is still very much a requirement in the global community. The utilities and energy industry received the highest proportion of services, accounting for 37.14%, followed by the insurance sector at 17.94%, and the telecommunications industry, experienced notable growth, at 13.89%.

In terms of international markets, the United Kingdom continued to dominate, representing 46% of the export market share, followed by the United States which accounted for 38% of the export market share, this is a 50% increase from the previous quarter this growth reinforces the expanding global reach of South Africa's GBS sector into the international arena.

The report also underscores the sector's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), crucial elements of not only South Africa's transformation agenda, but a global desire to make meaningful societal contributions and impact. The GBS sector stands out for its significant representation of both genders and diverse ethnicities, catering to the requirements of the international buying community, which emphasizes DEI practices. The new jobs created between January and March 2023 reflect a workforce composition where 63% are black, 29% are coloured or mixed race, 6% are Indian, and 2% are white.

Recognizing the importance of reskilling, upskilling, and future skilling, the GBS sector invested in training and skills development for its employees. Between January and March 2023, a total of 17,610 GBS staff received training and development opportunities, aligning with BPESA's commitment to empowering the talent pool and fostering connections within the industry through initiatives such as the Future Skills Platform, careers awareness campaigns, leadership boot camps, and work-seeker support services.

To ensure a harmonious balance between increasing demand and the required skill sets for future hires, the industry is actively working on securing additional funding for relevant, demand-driven, and flexible training programs targeting entry-level and specialised skills.

The GBS and BPO sector's significant contribution to South Africa's economy is evident, with the creation of 4,569 jobs for this reporting period, resulting in a substantial contribution of $74 million to the country's export revenue.

Reshni Singh, the CEO of BPESA, expressed her satisfaction with the ongoing expansion and job generation in the sector, affirming, "We take great pride in being a driving force behind the creation of employment opportunities and the advancement of the country’s economy through our sector. Our goal is to cultivate a thriving industry that empowers the youth and contributes to the transformative agenda of South Africa. The consistent growth and the emergence of new jobs throughout the sector this quarter are a testament to our industry's unwavering commitment to seize the opportunity to create more careers for South Africans, particularly for the youth and marginalised communities. We have full confidence that the industry will continue to experience growth, facilitate economic upliftment, and exhibit the country's distinct South African flair and unique ability to provide ongoing excellent, quality service to global clients and their customers."

To download the Fourth Quarter of Financial Year ending March 2023 in the South African GBS Sector Report click HERE


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