The South African government is stepping up its efforts to boost the country's call center industry. To do that, they are setting up a $135 million fund to boost the industry's competitiveness as a destination for US, UK and other international call center operations.
The money is going to be offered as grants to companies for every contact center job created. It is expected to fuel the creation of 25,000 call center jobs in the next five years, and another 75,000 jobs in the support economy derived from call center activities.
Another example of their commitment to investing in the sector is a program called CADET (for Career Assessment Development Education and Training). It's a $2.6 million fund aimed at training what they call "seriously disadvantaged citizens" who might make good candidates for work in the call center industry.
CADET expects to help as many as 500 trainees in 2007, feeding a national industry that's increased from 6,500 agents in 2003 to more than 13,000 today. One government official says that he expects as many as 10,000 jobs to be created in Cape Town's call center industry over the next three to five years. CADET is administered as a sort of public/private partnership by the Cape Town regional government and their investment agency, Calling the Cape.
As an exemplar of this frenzied new business environment, an outsourcer called Fusion Outsourcing Services just announced plans to build an 81,000 square foot call center in Cape Town, with a goal of increasing from 200 to 700 staffers in the next two years. The company was founded in 1992.