British Council has partnered with FutureSkills, NASSCOM’s initiative on reskilling to provide English assessments to current and future working professionals, to improve the language proficiency of the employable workforce in the IT-BPM industry.
With the BPM industry accounting for over 6.6% of the nation’s GDP and employing over 4.1 million skilled individuals, improving the overall English proficiency of this workforce will go a long way to helping India meet its target of USD 5 trillion GDP milestone by 2024.
As part of the partnership, EnglishScore will be made available to the 200,000 users on NASSCOM’s FutureSkills platform, and will further work to embed the workplace English test within their network of employers and colleges throughout India.
Amit Aggarwal, CEO, IT-ITeS Sector Skills Council da FutureSkills commented: “Technical skills are important but building soft skills like spoken English is equally critical. Over the years English has become the global language of business. Our workforce in the BPM Industry specifically need to build on English speaking skills and not let it become a barrier in their growth. We are pleased to collaborate with British Council to promote this exciting new workplace English test through the FutureSkills platform as it will enable them to articulate their technical and business understanding with confidence.”
EnglishScore is a 40-minute test that anyone can take for free on their smartphone using the device’s camera to prevent against cheating. EnglishScore test-takers will receive a score marked against an international standard, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). After receiving their score, users get a breakdown of their results and recommendations on how to improve, plus the option to purchase a certificate which carries British Council endorsement, and soon may also carry the NASSCOM and other sector skill council logos in India.
Barbara Wickham OBE, Director, British Council, India, said: “We’re delighted to partner with NASSCOM to improve the employability of working professionals in the IT-BPM industry through our new free English test. NASSCOM is at the forefront of driving transformation for this sector and our partnership offers real potential as a route to skill development in India. We understand the need for a diverse and global workforce and this only happens through the accessibility of education across the country. English Score offers India’s ambitious workforce the unique convenience of taking an international standard English test on a smartphone.”
The partnership aims to empower professional Indians with the workplace skills to contribute to a thriving digital economy. The India Skills Report 2019 states that the English language is among the top 3 skills that employers look for in their employees, and this demand is now flowing through to the pockets of aspiring Indian professionals, as being fluent in English in India increases the hourly wages of men by 34% and of women by 22%. Global IT giants such as Samsung, SAP and Microsoft have all adopted English as their global corporate language.
Employers can also benefit, and already a select number of NASSCOM members have been granted privileged access to start using EnglishScore to streamline their recruitment processes. Capita, Teleperformance and Piramal Group are amongst some of the first big names to sign up for the service, either for remote screening of candidates prior to interview, or for benchmarking the proficiency of existing staff.