Merchants bolsters Academy through BPESA partnership
In June 2021, Merchants was certified as an Accredited Training Provider by the Services SETA as part of our commitment to driving skills development in South Africa’s BPO industry and building a strong talent pipeline.
Following this, the Merchants Academy was launched in October, aimed at providing sustainable skills development to both Merchants employees and South African youth and job seekers. To kick off the program, 15 candidates were nominated by their line managers to enter a 12-month learnership programme that will sharpen and develop their transferrable skills and ensure they meet their potential for growth within the business.
“South Africa’s BPO industry has shown incredible resilience over the last two years, and continues to provide significant opportunities for local job seekers as it continues to grow and develop,” explains Merchants Transformation Director, Dr Sydwell Shikweni. “Our ambition is to build a strong and continuous pipeline of talent to ensure that the industry is able to keep up with the demand from local and international businesses looking to expend their operations and improve their customer experience. This way, we can continue to create employment opportunities for South Africa’s youth, and ensure they are equipped with future-ready skills that will stand them in good stead as we move toward the 4th industrial revolution.”
Late last year, Merchants was also awarded a cross-skilling project by industry body BPESA and ABSA, which provided upskilling to 114 candidates from the hospitality industry. After a tailored, month-long accredited skills programme, these candidates were then absorbed into the Merchants business – creating over 100 employment opportunities across several of its business units.
“The hospitality industry was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and this project allowed us to turn challenges into opportunities for these candidates,” explains Dr Shikweni. “As one of South Africa’s fastest growing industries, it is important that BPO businesses are working to develop and nurture the workforce of tomorrow.”