Friday 05 September 2014

SLASSCOM (Sri Lanka Association of Software and Services Companies),the industry body for IT, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Knowledge Services, has engaged the British Council for an in-depth training needs analysis. 

At the heart of this programme is a benchmarking exercise that outlines that the levels of English language required for specific job roles. This benchmarking study involved a detailed analysis of the job roles for one of the leading players in the sector. The exercise looked to benchmark the levels of English required in a job role across the four skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. 

Mapping the job roles based on the English language levels, especially in industries where English is critical, helps ensure the effectiveness of an individual, company and industry. The English language levels are mapped against the globally accepted standard for English language assessment: the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

The Common European Framework of Reference plays a key role in language assessment worldwide. The framework assesses language on a scale from A1 for beginners up to C for the highest level of proficiency. 

For example, a person who is rated as A1 would be able to carry out very basic conversations like greetings or asking and giving a name. Comparatively, an individual with a level of C would be able to express themselves with a high degree of accuracy even in complex situations.  

It is important to understand that each individual would have a unique English language profile across the four skills. Assessment against the established benchmark will identify skill gaps to support the recruitment, training and development of human talent through a fact-focused approach.

Imran Furkan, Executive Director at Sri Lanka Association of Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM), states "English is the Global Language of Business and is likely to be the case for decades to come. Our traditional outsourcing markets deals overwhelmingly in English. Our emerging markets in Asia, Africa, Middle East as well as Oceania including Australia carry out their communications in English. An effective outsourcing solution to the client depends on every single employee in the Sri Lankan IT/BPM Industry possessing an effective suite of communication solutions be it verbal, written or electronic. 

SLASSCOM is delighted to partner with the British Council in the world’s first ever dedicated communication skills benchmarking and training programme for the IT/BPM industry to ensure that every single employee in the Sri Lankan IT/BPM Industry possesses an effective suite of communication solutions that meets the highest expectations for our global clients today and in the years to come"

Sri Lanka is emerging as a global IT- BPO destination of choice in a number of key focus domain areas and was awarded the prestigious "Outsourcing Destination of the Year" award by the National Outsourcing Association (NOA), UK in 2013

There are over 300 IT and BPO companies that operate in Sri Lanka. Among the leading companies operating in Sri Lanka are HSBC, WNS Global Services, Aviva, Microsoft, Motorola, Industrial and Financial Systems (IFS), Amba Research, RR Donnelley, Quattro, Virtusa, Millennium Information Technology and Innodata Isogen.

Keith Davies, Country Director for British Council Sri Lanka, states that “The British Council is a people to people organisation and has been working in Sri Lanka for over 60 years. English has been at the heart of our work and we are pleased to be working with industry bodies such as SLASSCOM to improve the opportunities of Sri Lankan individuals and companies through this medium.

This is a critical point in the history of Sri Lanka and I believe that SLASSCOM is taking the right steps in investing in the future with benchmarking, assessing and developing English language skills in its workforce.”

To find out more about British Council and our work in assessment and benchmarking, please visit