Ibex Global Solutions has announced an investment of $4 million in a customer service, collections and back office center, to service its operations in Latin America.
Its geographical proximity to the United States was one of the reasons why the company Ibex Global Solutions decided to set up its regional headquarters in Managua. With an investment of $4 million, the company has opened its service center, where 500 agents will work providing services in English and Spanish and 250 in Spanish only.
According to the English Proficiency Index produced by Education First, Guatemala and Panama have improved, moving from the "very low" group to the "low" group, while Costa Rica and El Salvador remain stagnant at that level.
The index, which the global English teaching business Education First publishes annually, defines three levels of proficiency in 70 countries worldwide. In the world rankings, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama and El Salvador were located in the 43rd, 46th, 48th and 61st positions, respectively.
More workers who speak a second language are needed in order to continue growing in terms of attracting investment.
The arrival of international companies engaged in outsourcing services shows an upward trend in Nicaragua, but the main obstacle to greater growth is the lack of potential employees who speak and write two languages.
Panama's improvement in the availability index of skilled labor, does not respond to an increase in supply, but to a drop in demand because of a slowdown in the economy.
An article on Panamaamerica.com.pa details the results obtained from the Talent Shortage Survey conducted by Manpower, noting that "... Panama has reduced its deficit of talent and skilled labor by 12 percentage points during the last year, going from 58% to 46%, however, the causes are not so encouraging, since the reduction is due to a decrease in the search for personnel by companies. "
Companies are struggling to find employees with skills in information technology, programming and networking, electricity, processing and assembly of medical parts.
The Talent Shortage study (2014) by Manpower notes that "... 51% of the 620 Costa Rican employers surveyed said they can not find suitable professionals to perform the tasks required by their company." The main cause, according to the contractors, is lack of technical skills.
The unemployment rate now reaches 10% in a population where 60% of workers have not completed high school, but teachers refuse to be evaluated on their ability in subjects they teach.
An article in Nacion.com cites statements by Victor Morales, Minister of Labour, on the rising unemployment levels in Costa Rica: "...There is a mismatch between supply and demand in the corporate sector. There is a demand for skilled technicians; but most of the Costa Rican labor force is unskilled. 60% have not finished high school; it is a national drama. "
Companies recognize how important managing a growing international and mobile workforce is for the future of their businesses, but they do not know how to do it.
Companies do not have an appropriate strategy to deal with the transformation that is happening the way of working in the world -from the convergence of five generations to operations spread across the planet- which will lead to a crisis in management, attraction and retention of talent, concludes the Workforce 2020 study, prepared by Oxford Economics and SAP.
In Costa Rica a proposal has been made to implement free zone regimes linked to universities with internship programs in companies.
The Ministry of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica plans to implement free zone models in Guanacaste linked to universities such as the Earth and Invenio Universities, both located in areas which are far away from the greater metropolitan area. The plan by Minister Alexander Mora is to promote the attraction of investment in these areas offering the benefits of a free trade area linked to access to skilled labor.
There has been a rise in the number of firms reporting difficulties in recruiting qualified staff, especially technicians, engineers and sales managers.
In one year the number of companies who said they found it difficult to fill vacancies grew by 11%, according to figures from a survey carried out by the human resources firm Manpower, which states that "... five out of 10 employers looking for talent have had difficulties filling vacancies in 2014. "
On February 13, representatives from the education and business sector will meet to discuss challenges and achievements in teaching English.
From a press release issued by the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama:
For the first time, representatives from the Panamanian education and business sectors will gather together to discuss challenges and achievements in the field of teaching English at the First National Bilingualism Forum entitled "Building Competitiveness".
A poor level of English is still one of Latin America's most significant competitive weaknesses, especially in the countries of Central America.
Of the 60 countries evaluated in the English Proficiency Index developed by EF Educatio First (EF EPI), Costa Rica ranks in 37th place, Guatemala at number 52, followed by El Salvador at 53 and Panama at 56.
It is increasingly common for companies to look for accountants, managers, engineers, architects and technicians who are bilingual.
Although more and more companies are looking for bilingual staff, language schools believe that the demand for courses is still too low to meet the needs of entrepreneurs and investment entering the country.
Even so , " Nicaraguans have recently realized the importance of English, it is the language of business worldwide, it is the language of the internet, documents , and they now feel that it is becoming a priority," said Franklin Tellez, academic director of the Nicaraguan American Cultural Center (CCNN) .
The service sector is the fastest-growing (19.9%) with 53,129 social security contributors, about 8,850 more than in the same period in 2012. Up until last September 113,067 new contributors signed up, 15,104 more than the 97,963 reported in the same period last year.
Up until September 113 067 new contributors signed up , 15,104 more than the 97,963 reported in the same period last year.
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