Strong growth in the Latin American IT industry is not being met with an adequate local supply of skilled personnel. As a result, international services firm Capgemini is looking to plug its Latin American personnel gap with European workers. As an added benefit, the move will give according to the firm boost its international profile in Latin America, demanded by local customers and clients, while also creating new incentives to attract skilled local IT professionals, with the possibility of an international career.
The Latin American IT market is following a steady growth path, driven by an increasing number of companies expanding their operations in the region, renewing an outdated IT infrastructure, and/or adopting new technologies in order to increase competitiveness. In a recent survey by IDC commissioned by Cisco, 96% of respondents, large international companies, reported the region will become more important for their organisation in the future. "The IT market in Brazil grows far beyond the world-wide average," says IDC analyst Pietro Delai.
While there is considerable demand from local businesses as they expand and embrace the edge that digital and networking technology provides, the local IT skill base in Latin America is not keeping up with demand. The skills gap – evocatively known in Spanish as “la brecha” – will represent a shortcoming of 300,000 networking/communications professionals by 2015. Brazil will be faced with the largest issues, as the shortage will number 117,000 FTE.
For global professional services firm Capgemini the skills shortage in the Latin American market is gradually turning into a major business issue. As it stands, the firm employs over 8,500 of its 10,000 Latin American workforce in Brazil, where the unemployment level is just 4.8%. The firm is looking to capitalise on growth yet the shortage of skilled IT workers, particularly in Brazil, is endangering the realisation of its ambitious growth targets. To counters the labour pressure, Capgemini has announced it will launch a “large-scale recruitment plan” to plug the skills gap with European IT professionals, according to its regional CEO Walter Cappilati.
By providing an international profile in Latin America, Capgemini hopes to attract local clients and customers that are looking to have international expertise, similar to their international counterparts in Europe and America. “They are expecting us to act as a global group, not local. They want a combination of global and local capabilities,” Cappilati adds. Furthermore, by providing the opportunity for cross-cultural and work exchange for its employees through its international offices, Capgemini intends to create new incentives to attract high skilled Latin American graduates looking for an international career.