i-Fundi was formed in 2000, originally as a call centre and internet-based virtual assistance service. Despite the large number of unemployed people in South Africa and the low barriers to entry in the contact centre industry, finding experienced people proved difficult.At that time, we realised that there was a massive need for training to reduce the industry’s skills shortage, which given its rapid growth also had the potential to create a large number of jobs.
Responding to a call for proposals to create jobs for the unemployed youth in 2002 by the Swiss South African Co-operation Initiative i-Fundi secured funding to establish a call centre learnership programme in conjunction with the Services SETA.
Recognising the success of our programme, the Department of Labour selected i-Fundi as an Employment and Skills Development Agency (ESDA) – an initiative to promote the roll-out of learnerships within industries and across diverse geographic locations in 2005.
In 2007, we initiated a learnership programme for contact centre supervisors that provides agents with the opportunity to advance their career along a well defined career path. This programme has now been rolled out to supervisors across many of South Africa’s leading contact centres, producing significant performance improvements in the delegates and their team members. Since then we have launched numerous new programmes all aimed at introducing new talent and growing staff in customer facing occupations.