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Case Study: Contact Centre NQF 2 qualification and permanent job prospects for 80 disabled learners

The Challenge

South Africa’s youth unemployment statistics are wrenching at almost 70%. It means that across our entire population of employable young citizens, 2 out 3 are unemployed – and range from those classified as NEETs - Not in Education, Employment, or Training – to those who have graduated with tertiary qualifications and still cannot secure employment.

If you are young, disadvantaged AND disabled, the challenges are massively amplified. Youth living with disabilities find themselves on the periphery of society – on the outside of traditional recruitment pipelines due to their lack of access to networks, public transport costs from townships to jobs that are not only high but also don’t cater for the needs of the disabled, and their physical disabilities in many instances prevent their integration into the workforce. They have traditionally been excluded from fully participating in mainstream activities, effectively preventing them from being full members of society and disempowering them from achieving any sense of self-determination.

However, we believe that with the right leadership, investment and training, this large untapped pool of South African differently-abled talent has the potential to be guided and supported into meaningful career paths in the Global Business Services sector (also known as Business Process Outsourcing), and uplifting communities, families and livelihoods in the process.

The Impact Sourcing Institute of South Africa, together with our client in the Manufacturing and Engineering sector, embarked on a ground-breaking and life changing learnership with 80 unemployed, disabled Black African youth.

The Solution

With our corporate partner who sponsored 80 learnerships which included the costs of all training and monthly learner stipends, we recruited 80 unemployed and disabled youth between the ages of 18 and 27 for the learnership opportunity - a Contact Centre NQF Level 2 qualification, and permanent job prospects.

They were fully committed to completing the 12-month learnership programme that entailed both theoretical and practical components. The learnership was conducted in our state-of-the-art training call centre which caters specifically for the safety, security, training and support models needed to cater for disabled learners and employees. The SETA exit moderation was planned for two months after completion of the learnership in order for the learners to receive Certificates of Competence from the SETA.

Our shared objectives were clear:

  • contribute to the upskilling of previously disadvantaged individuals who were unable to complete their schooling and were therefore denied access to Further Education and Training,

  • ensure that the knowledge and skills gained through the learnership equips learners to be employable and thereby contributing to reducing the current youth unemployment rate in South Africa,

  • absorb 50% of the learners that had shown commitment throughout the learnership to be employed in call centre roles through the Impact Sourcing Institute’s partner network of BPO providers.

The Results

We achieved 100% learner retention and 100% competence, which means that every learner who started the learnership completed it and achieved a Contact Centre NQF Level 2 qualification.

In addition, and probably the most important objective achieved, is that 70% of the learners have already been absorbed into permanent employment into call centres. The remaining learners are in a significantly stronger position to secure permanent employment in South Africa’s burgeoning BPO sector, and with the continued support of and access to our partner networks.

For the sponsor of the learnerships, the company gets to invest in developing a skilled workforce for long-term employment, it gets to fully maximise the benefits of their BBBEE scorecards in terms of skills development and fundamentally reshape societal outcomes for the better.

By harnessing the power of impact sourcing to make a fundamental, long-term difference in our most vulnerable communities, business gets to bring together the best of economics, quality work forces through diversity and inclusion, and socially responsible supply chains.

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