Learn about some of the regional initiatives and programs aimed at strengthening the bilingual capabilities of Cali and Valle del Cauca’s human resources, in order to make the region increasingly more competitive and to continue to respond to the demands of sectors such as service outsourcing, new technologies and software development, which are the industries that today most require English proficiency. As bilingualism is a key attribute in the industry, several institutions in Valle del Cauca belonging to the public, private, academic and social sectors, have joined forces to create programs that help strengthen the English skills of the region’s highly talented workforce.
Hello Valle! is a regional “study now, pay later” bilingual training program for employability, which seeks not only to improve the English level of the beneficiaries, but also to provide support so that they can be formally linked to bilingual Contact Center companies, which are part of the BPO sector (Business Process Outsourcing), a booming industry that is widely demanding trained and bilingual human talent, thus helping to transform the lives of thousands of people in our country and region.
This initiative seeks to benefit 600 people between 18 and 45 years of age residing in Valle del Cauca by 2022. It is led by Comfandi, Comfenalco Valle Delagente, Invest Pacific and ProPacífico, as part of a great regional commitment called Compromiso Valle. Sign up here.
It is a pioneer bilingualism program that arises as a response to the growing interest of bilingual BPO contact center companies to expand their operations in Valle del Cauca, a sector that forecasts the creation of 8,000 new direct and formal jobs by 2023, according to figures estimated by Invest Pacific. This, however, will only be possible to the extent that bilingual human capital is available and trained.
The idea is that this trained human talent can make up for the lack of bilingual personnel for customer service, a need felt not only in Valle del Cauca but throughout the country. Colombia is the third largest call center market in Latin America, and according to data from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, the BPO sector grew 17% in 2021 compared to the previous year, recording foreign sales of US$353.4 million.
This English course for Contact Centers was the result of an alliance between Universidad Javeriana Cali, Propacífico and Invest Pacific, all part of the Compromiso Valle collective. In its first edition in 2021, 26 people including young people and adults, were trained for three months. These beneficiaries went from level B1 to B2, with the possibility to join a company in the BPO sector in Cali.
By 2022, two new groups are expected to be formed, for a total of 40 new citizens proficient in English.
This is a macro project that brings together all the efforts and initiatives aimed at making our city-region more competitive nationally and internationally. The following components are included:
Bilingualism Ambassador Schools
This initiative seeks to train Bilingualism Ambassadors who belong to the same educational communities, so that they can mobilize, transform mindsets and position English as an opportunity for development at all levels for students and their families. Ambassadors can be students, graduates and teachers from schools that voluntarily decide to accept the challenge of becoming Bilingualism mobilizers.
Data platform for decision-making
The purpose of this strategy is to make available to the different sectors (government, academia, companies, NGOs and schools) a series of data viewers with updated information on bilingualism in English in the region and compared at the national level, based on the results of the Saber 11, TYT and Pro tests, in order to promote evidence-based decision making.
Academic and cultural agenda
Its goal is to bring together academic and cultural spaces in order to make practicing English in Cali possible at a different level. Ambassadors for Bilingualism is an initiative that calls to action the different sectors and actors of the ecosystem: companies, unions, schools, local governments, NGOs and academia.
More training paths
Thanks to the commitment of the local government, the private business sector, academia and compensation funds, Cali has a variety of training routes for bilingual (English) human talent to respond to the size of the opportunity it has as a region. Learn more about them here
If you are part of this regional ecosystem and wish to join this initiative, you can contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ‘Cali Open To Work’ program is led by the Secretary of Economic Development of the Mayor’s Office of Cali and Comfenalco Valle Delagente. These are programs aimed at all Cali residents who want to improve their English level free of charge.
It is a team of public and private entities ranging, from the academic, government and business sectors, in operation since 2013, coordinated by the Cali Chamber of Commerce, non-profit, that develop proactive and management actions to contribute to improving the level of foreign language proficiency in Cali, with emphasis on English. In this way, we seek to contribute to the improvement of the quality of education, competitiveness and development of the region. Learn more about the programs at Mesa de bilingüismo de Cali.
Bilingual Talent was conceived as a digital campaign involving the public sector, universities, schools, hotels, airlines, mass media and other allied organizations. Since then, it became a positioning strategy for Invest Pacific, in connection to other regional initiatives and programs aimed at the common regional purpose to foster the bilingual capabilities of its population in order to encourage the presence of more service operations and, with them, new job opportunities. This microsite you are visiting is the result of this great regional commitment to a competitive and bilingual territory!
For this reason, Invest Pacific invites all Cali and Valle del Cauca residents who are fluent in English and are waiting for a job opportunity to take part in Bilingual Talent, which seeks to connect them with multinationals in the global services sector that have openings for their contact center operations, software development or technology. To participate you only have to fill out this form, authorizing Invest Pacific to let you know about training programs and bilingual job opportunities for the region’s talent.