Sigma Connected takes on the 1,000th graduate..


..from the South African Impact Sourcing organisation Shadow Careers

A leading UK BPO provider is celebrating the success of a long-term partnership with a South African based organization, which has helped secure jobs for hundreds of unemployed youths from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Sigma Connected Group, which is headquartered in Birmingham and provides contact centre services for the utilities, retail, telecommunications, insurance andfinancial services sectors, has worked closely with South African careers provider Shadow Careers since 2020, placing hundreds of 18-34 year olds into permanent jobs at their offices in Cape Town.

In 2020, Sigma Connected took on the first ever graduate through Shadow Careers. And in 2023 they were honoured once again by hiring a group of graduates which included the 500th Shadow student. More recently, they celebrated another key milestone by employing the group with the 1,000th graduate amongst them.

To date, the company has employed 431 people through Shadow Careers in Cape Town, South Africa, with all working on Sigma Connected's international accounts, many of which are in the UK.

Shadow Careers was founded in 2020 with their first career creation centre setup in the township of Mitchells Plain, a previously marginalised community in Cape Town. Through an Impact Sourcing approach, its aim is to help tackle high youth unemployment and create career opportunities for young people by training and upskilling them. Youth unemployment across South Africa currently stands at around 58%.

Gary Gilburd, chief executive of Sigma Connected Group said:

"We are proud to be the first ever Shadow Careers partner and we're delighted with our ongoing partnership with the team which has benefited us in South Africa in terms of engaged employees and our clients in the UK as they deliver complex voice solutions to their customers.

"The 1,000th graduate to come through the programme is a wonderful milestone and underlines just how successful Shadow Careers has been over the past three years. For us here at Sigma Connected, we want to create long term careers and also play our part in helping drive down youth unemployment where it really matters.

"We've put our heart and soul into understanding the difference Impact Sourcing can make, and in Shadow Careers, we've found an inspirational partner which compliments us perfectly. Everyone here is so proud of how we've helped to change hundreds of lives for the better.."

Franco Cotumaccio, CEO and co-founder of Shadow Careers said:

"We are creating more opportunities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and supporting them with building sustainable careers. Together with one of our long-standing partners, Sigma Connected, I believe we are breaking barriers by creating pathways and enabling access to skills development and permanent employment.

"Our ambition for this year alone is to work with more partners like Sigma Connected and place a further 1,200 graduates into careers. Over the past three years, both ourselves and Sigma Connected have evolved and increased our understanding more about young people, their talent, and their potential. To see how quickly that can happen in a learning environment, and then in an international business operation, is amazing."

For more information on the Sigma Connected Group and its services, readers can visit

The Shadow Careers website is available through