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PH Ranked as Top Offshoring Destination in English Proficiency

by: Sarah Joson

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 | Outsourcing News |

The Philippines Tops the Global Business English Index

Language barrier is still one of the challenges faced by CIOs who want to outsource IT processes either nearshore or offshore. However, there’s hope as the recent data collected by English language consultancy firm GlobalEnglish showed improved results.

An article posted at CIO.com explains the results of the Business English Index (BEI) research. It involved 212,883 non-native workers resulted to a global score of 4.75 this year on a scale of 1 to 10, which is 14 percent higher than 2012.

A score of 10 represents complex usage and application of the English language in business situations, while 1 indicates simpler responses and practice.

The global 2013 BEI rating of 4.75 shows that most professionals are able to understand discussions and presentations in English, but do not participate that much in more complex tasks.  

According to the President of GlobalEnglish, Tom Kahl, the recent BEI results could mean that companies are employing people who have adequate English communication skills that are suitable for consultation and functional processes. It could either be an indication that candidates equipped with business English skills cost too much or are hard to source locally.

The Philippines took the top spot with a BEI score of 7.95. It is a world-renowned destination for voice-based processes, as well as business process outsourcing (BPO) capabilities. The second most proficient country in business English is South Africa with a score of 7.86.

As for the key segments, professional services and technology sectors scored 6.22 and 5.72 respectively.

The top 10 countries for English proficiency are: Philippines, South Africa, Norway, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, and India.

Some non-English speaking countries were found to only have a handful of technology experts who are highly skilled in communicating in the English language and it was found that the educational system is not addressing the issue properly.

Kahl added that some companies have become more lenient in hiring English-proficient IT candidates just to fill positions.

Meanwhile, the "BRIC" nations showed dissimilar results. Brazil posted 3.27, Russia with 3.95, India scored the highest in the group with 6.32 and China was a little below US’s 5.23 with 5.03.

As for the nearshore destinations for US-based CIOs, Mexico scored 3.16 while Chile, Honduras and Columbia are still at the bottom five. In line with that, Kahl noted that firms in this particular region are doing the best they can to resolve issues related to the workforce’s Busiiness English skills.

GloablEnglish also discovered by analyzing 24,000 global knowledge workers from 90 countries that with the proper English skills, an average of two hours or more per week is saved which equates to a reasonable ROI of  $750,000 per 1,000 employees.

Kahl reiterated that when CIOs are selecting their outsourcing provider, they should make sure that the other party is committed to English proficiency among its employees.

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