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Only few graduates fit the BPO bill

Hardly 10% of graduates willing to join the BPO industry meet the requirements of the sector in English language skills.

india Updated: May 06, 2006 19:05 IST

Hardly 10 per cent of graduates willing to join the Business Process Outsourcing industry meet the requirements of the sector in English language skills, according to a survey.

The survey, based on the tests of 10,500 students by skills assessment company MeritTrac across 17 cities, found that only 15 per cent of the applicants meet the the industry expectations in grammar and an equivalent number have a neutral accent.

While over 90 per cent of the applicants had acceptable voice clarity, only 23 per cent of them were fluent in the language, the survey, which has been developed as National Index of Communication Skills, said.

"On a cumulative rating based on all parameters, 10 per cent of the total applicant population meet the industry expectations," MeritTrac Co-founder and Director Madan Padaki said.

The survey revealed that applicants in tier two cities were below average in terms of grammar, accent neutrality and fluency as compared to tier one cities.

For the services industry, the survey found that 33 per cent of the applicants had the required level of communication skills.

While 60 per cent of the applicants fared well in articulation, just over 43 per cent did well in grammar, 65 per cent in assertiveness and 67 per cent in confidence.

In the skills for services industry too, Tier one cities score over tier two cities.

"While there is skill shortage in the BPO industry, the survey has just quantified it," Padaki said.

MeritTrac on Monday inaugurated its skill assessment centre in Delhi. "It will be the third city after Bangalore and Hyderabad to have such a facility," he said.

The company is also planning to open up an assessment centre in Mumbai.

The centre in Delhi was inaugurated by Nasscom President Kiran Karnik.

He said the BPO industry was expected to face a shortage of 0.5 million skilled professionals by 2010 even if business goes on as usual.

"The industry and the government must address this issue otherwise the sector would be in trouble," he said.