Skills Development

Skills Development

There are more than 220,500 agents working in the BPO sector in South Africa today with approximately 32,500 focused on international business only.

South African has a competitive and compelling value proposition for the major sourcing markets, offering capabilities that extend across the end to end customer journey. While our industry was founded on a strong English language voice capability, companies located in South Africa service a wide range of outsourced complex functions, including but not limited to, software development, tech support, finance, legal, and HR.

With geo-political, economic, technology and business changes impacting our target global sourcing markets (the USA, Canada, UK and Australia) these numbers are projected to grow significantly over the next three to five years.

BPESA is committed to developing the human capital infrastructure nationally to support this rapid growth through the up-skilling, re-skilling and continual professional development of the BPO and Captive labour force: agents, specialist roles, team leaders and management. In response to the skills challenge, BPESA has formulated a comprehensive skills strategy which is being implemented in partnership with National, Provincial and City Government and in close collaboration with the industry operators and service-providers to develop skills programmes and targeted skills interventions that will result in a sustainable world-class BPO talent pipeline and skills supply.

The BPESA skills strategy incorporates career awareness initiatives, work-seeker support services, a skills portal and a federated skills supply chain.

Skills Forums

BPESA facilitates quarterly skills forums in each region, engaging professional practitioners in discussions about current and future skills challenges and opportunities. The skills forums focus on the following:

  • Leadership in the digital economy
  • Future skills and the transition to Industry 4.0
  • Specialist skills
  • Entry level skills for voice and non-voice work

Skills Documents & Presentations

Navigating the Skills Landscape can be daunting! On this page you can quickly access and read documents and presentations that will provide you with useful information on Strategies, Practices and Trends, as well as legislation relating to Skills Development in South Africa. 

Professional Body Policy (SAQA, 2012)

Human Capital and Skills Development Report

White paper for post-school education and training

Learning and Development BPO Report (IQ Business, 2014)

Industry Skills Strategy (BPESA, 2011)

National Skills Development Plan

BPESA Agent Profile

BPESA Coach Profile

BPESA MI Consultant Profile

BPESA QA Consultant Profile

BPESA Team Leader Profile

BPESA Trainer Profile


Skills supply Chain

Skills can be sourced and developed directly by employers (through their recruitment partners or their own HR departments) or via a federated supply chain made up of independent entities that collaborate to source, train, coach and accredit people from entry level through to executive leadership roles.

This supply chain is made up of the following role players, each with a key focus area and value adding contribution to the skills development process.

High Schools

  • To provide school leavers with the right level of foundational competence and specifically with suitable language, communication, problem solving, maths and computer literacy skills.
  • The industry can partner with select schools in each province to prepare willing students for a career in the BPS sector – these schools may offer more of an entrepreneurial flavour to their typical matric curriculum and can include specific modules that introduce the industry to the students.

Work Readiness Academies

  • Bridges the gap between school and the work place for students just leaving school and for the unemployed youth who have been out of school for a while and without work.
  • Provides work seekers with exposure to the world of work, while also building their core life skills such as personal mastery, personal financial management, ethics, diversity management, and work ethic.
  • This exposure to work filters those suited to the industry from those who are not.
  • Prepares work seekers to take on a full or part time job in the Sector and assists them to be placed into their first job.

Employers / Operators

  • Provides the learner with a job, internship or learner-ship.
  • Provides role specific training.
  • Coaches and supports the learner in the workplace.
  • Manages their career development with them.

Sector Specific Academies, Colleges

  • Provides the learner with curricula aligned to a career path in the BPO Sector.
  • Offers master classes, short courses, specialist skills training, and qualifications for all roles and levels up to Business Executive.
  • Delivers training through multiple channels to cater for distance learning, self-managed learning, and classroom based facilitator led learning.

Universities and Business Schools

  • Provides tertiary education to the BOS Sector in the form of Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in related fields e.g.: Management; and specialist courses for key skills such as Analytics for MI Analysts.
  • Also provides Executive Leadership Training through Global Leadership Programmes, tailored to the BPO Sector.

Team C4

A new free cell phone game for Android called Team C4 has been launched in South Africa. See if you have what it takes to be a customer care star. Make sure you download the game and start playing!

Why Customer Service?

South Africa is a leading customer service destination with approximately 215,000 people employed in the industry. This career only requires matric so you will be surrounded by young people. You’ll be able to earn good money straight out of school and work yourself up the ladder. It’s a fun work environment with all the necessary chill areas!

The Game

Imagine Grumpsters have invaded your city. They are small mischievous creatures that sabotage technology to cause havoc and drive citizens nuts. Luckily, there is Team C4, a special task team of customer care agents who fight back. In the game, you become part of Team C4 as you deal with a number of problems, which have been caused by the Grumpsters. To help citizens, you need to make the right decisions as quickly as possible. There are four mission and time is running out – only a good score will unlock the next levels. In this exciting adventure, players help them to fix broken systems and manage complaining citizens.

Landing the job

By joining the Team C4 you put skills to the test necessary to get a job in the call centre sector and you also gradually compile a profile page, which acts as a CV. This information will be accessible to recruitment agents. When showing interest and the right potential, players may be contacted for job opportunities in their area.