As a massive contributor to job creation in Durban, Webhelp is positively giving to local communities through economic empowerment. But the branch at Umhlanga Ridgeside is committed to further improving the lives of those from disadvantaged backgrounds through several community uplift projects.
“As a future-focused organisation, we believe that the only way to truly grow the economy is by ensuring its inclusive,” explained Tammy Chetty, Managing Director of Webhelp South Africa. “BPO [business process outsourcing] is the fastest-growing sector in South Africa which means that, in just one year, our Umhlanga Ridgeside office has created jobs for hundreds of unemployed youth. But to really make an impact, we believe it’s imperative to educate and upskill those in marginalized communities so that we’re all part of the growing economy.”
The global consultancy and customer experience organisation is involved in several programmes and projects at international, national and regional levels. Through Webhelp’s unique impact sourcing model, those locked out of formal employment are prioritised for job opportunities. In South Africa in 2022 alone, Webhelp has impact hired 724 colleagues, 53 of whom have gone into a formal learnership opportunity. This model is set to be rolled out in KZN in 2023 with plans to impact hire circa 200 new colleagues.
The company’s community-driven ethos is also evident in The More Movement. This is Webhelp’s Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy that aims to make ‘business more human’ through inclusive and sustainable growth. The strategy focuses on education by building partnerships and sponsoring programmes for workforce readiness.
One of the ESG Philanthropic strategies Webhelp Durban has implemented is the Columba Learnership Programme which has been supported by Webhelp South Africa since 2014. Columba Leadership is a South African social enterprise that offers values-based leadership programmes for Grade 10 to 12 pupils, teachers and principals in economically disadvantaged communities.
The programme, which will run for three years, has welcomed pupils to the Webhelp Durban offices where they benefit from mentorship, skills development, career guidance, and inspiration. This programme will ensure the lives of hundreds of young KZN pupils are changed as they realise their potential and recognise their ability to lead.
Webhelp constantly engages with Columba Leadership to identify additional initiatives that support students’ transition from school into the world of work. This includes their Skills Accelerator Programme, whereby Columba alumni who have not had an opportunity to progress into further education can apply to enter Webhelp’s work readiness programme and gain valuable job experience.
“Webhelp are honoured to continue to work with Columba Leadership and to play an active part in helping learners live up to their potential. With South Africa’s high unemployment rate, it is crucial that, as a community-driven company, we give young South Africans every opportunity to thrive. I am so proud of our Webhelp colleague’s enthusiasm in supporting the Columba Leadership programme and of the fantastic calendar of initiatives we participate in,” says Cathy Kalamaras, Webhelp South Africa’s People Director
Webhelp Durban will also be joining The Think Human Foundation’s philanthropic project with Save the Children South Africa, set to launch in January 2023. This three-year project will equip 550 Grade 10 to 12 pupils and 10 teachers from a Durban township, with digital literacy aligned to the curriculum. Beyond this, Webhelp and Save the Children will also develop students’ social and emotional skills to support them in being more marketable to the world of work.
“This project will enable young people to break the cycle of poverty while providing a host of opportunities for our Webhelp colleagues to support students through CV writing workshops, mock interviews, personal development and mentorships,” explained Kalamaras.
To find out more about Webhelp, visit www.webhelp.com.