In photography, Joan Hernández student Precision Mechanics National Training Institute (INA) in San Jose. | JOSE CORDERO.
In the photo, Joan Hernández, student of Precision Mechanics National Training Institute (INA) in San Jose. | Jose Cordero, La Nacion

QCOSTARICA  – Companies in Costa Rica say they are struggling to find employees with skills in information technology, programming and networking, electricity, processing and assembly of medical parts.

The Talent Shortage study (2014) (Escasez de Talento in Spanish) by Manpower notes that “… 51% of the 620 Costa Rican employers surveyed said they can not find suitable professionals to perform the tasks required by their company.”

The main cause, according to the contractors, is lack of technical skills.

Moreover, according to a survey by the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of Private Enterprises (Uccaep) “… professionals graduating from universities will be hired the least this year. In contrast, technicians and semi-skilled workers are almost twice as likely to get a job. ” “… Besides this technicians are in the group of the most sought after by employers, and are also among the last that an employer would fire if they have to cut staff this year. ”

Costa Rica was falling behind in the training of technical personnel. The paradigm is changing and there are technicians who are very well prepared. It is necessary that technical education is strengthened to fill the current gap in demand by employers,” said Gabriela Chaverri, Manpower manager for Costa Rica.

On average, 2015 enrollment at the National Training Institute Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje – INA) and professional technical colleges of the Ministry of Public Education (MEP) is at  228,100 students.

“We must change the myth that the students coming out of technical school is to answer phone calls,” said the president of the Uccaep.

For Minor Rodriguez, CEO of  the INA, another myth in the country is that the technicians are cheap labor. “There’s graduates hired in companies that pay them very decent wages. Others dedicate themselves to their own business and also do well. You can not generalize when speaking of wages,” said Rodriguez.

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