Amid the gloomy outlook on South Africa’s unemployment statistics, South Africa’s burgeoning Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector stands as a shining beacon of hope and opportunity. It’s an industry that rewards the consistent, brave and hard-working and provides rapid career progression through focused training programmes and development of essential business and interpersonal skills.

“South Africa’s BPO sector provides a crucial lifeline for thousands of young people who find meaningful and stable employment in this industry.  For those already working in the BPO space, the opportunity to extend and diversify skills into management roles are many.   Not only is it a sector primed to create 500 000 new jobs in the next 10 years according to Business Process Enabling South Africa (BPESA) and a significant contributor to GDP, but it’s also a sector in need of skills in management and leadership roles, opening a whole new world of career progression opportunities for the ambitious agent,” says Tej Desai, Chief Executive Officer of Alefbet Collections & Recoveries, a group of collections BPO firms which includes Shapiro Shaik Defries and Associates,  Metropolitan Revenue Collections and ITC Business Administrators.

 Alefbet Collections & Recoveries has over R20 million under management and employs some 1500 full time people who are developing their careers and ambitions through the business. Alefbet Collections & Recoveries recently celebrated 12 employees who completed Services Seta Certificates of Competence in Business Administration Services (NQF Level 4), and Generic Management NQF (Level 5).  This development of people from within the business into management roles is a consistent and regular focus by the executive team, and one that employees are embracing.

“South Africa’s Collections BPO sector is in high demand of skilled people, and it’s an industry willing to invest in training and developing committed people from being inexperienced to masters of their craft.  We have invested heavily into creating a SETA-accredited training provider within our Alefbet Holdings group which is focused on management development, learnerships and bespoke training development and delivery serving the broader BPO environment – SA Business School. In this industry, it’s all about providing both academic, technical and interpersonal skills training that allows our people to develop their career paths from collections agent to senior management positions and across different job roles and disciplines within the business.  It’s one of the reasons why we believe in bringing an executive training approach into our learnership programmes to provide our graduates with a holistic and superior SETA-accredited qualification.  Today’s ambitious collections agent is tomorrow’s top team leader, head of training, business development manager or operations director.  The skills and experience they get in this environment are applicable in virtually every business and industry and the career development opportunities are many and diverse,” explains Tej.

It’s an industry where attitude, enthusiasm and a solid service ethic will take you as far, if not further than any university qualification, which for many young South Africans remains hopelessly out of reach.   “We are incredibly proud to have many talented people who started out at the rock face as agents, got promoted to management positions, and have been with the business for many years in successful careers. For the thousands of people who may not find employment in ‘traditional’ work roles, South Africa’s BPO sector could be the answer to a better life, gainful employment and a solid career path with lifelong learning opportunities,” concludes Tej.