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Press Release

Costa Ricans will improve their English proficiency thanks to agreement between Sykes and Government

APRIL 10th 2015

The agreement, endorsed by the Ministry of Foreign Trade, is the first to contemplate English proficiency between a private company and a public university.

San Jose, April 10th 2015. The Minister of Work, Victor Morales; the General Manager of SYKES Costa Rica, Alejandro Arciniegas and Luis Fernando Chaves from the Universidad Técnica Nacional (UTN); signed two agreements that will increase the linguistic English skills of hundreds of people that manage an intermediate level, which usually is not enough to obtain a job offer.


These cooperation efforts will allow the generation of bilingual human talent outside the Great Metropolitan Area and the identification of new places that would be attractive for the services sector and the potential arrival of new multinationals or the expansion of the existing ones, an option that is being evaluated by SYKES.


These agreements were signed during the visit of SYKES’ President, Chuck Sykes and his father, the company’s founder, John Sykes. Other guests included the Minister of Foreign Trade, Alexander Mora and the Managing Director of the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE), Jorge Sequeira.


These agreements are the following:


1. Agreement SYKES-Ministry of Work: its objective is to give economic support to applicants who do not manage a sufficient English level to be hired immediately. These people will be enrolled in SYKES Academy to receive from 3 to 8 weeks of English lessons in order to improve their skills and apply for a job position at SYKES.


2. Agreement of employability SYKES-UTN: its objective is to replicate the English academy (SYKES Academy) in every site of the UTN.  Lessons will begin this year in Alajuela and Puntarenas. SYKES will transfer its methodology, instruct its teachers and accompany the implementation process in every site.  


Since the creation of SYKES Academy back in 2007, SYKES has recruited more than 5.000 people and graduated about 4.000. Every graduate has received a job offer from SYKES.  Besides collaborating with the English instruction, SYKES will support the UTN with knowledge transfer of other technologies.


“These agreements are part of our Corporate Social Responsibility which seeks to contribute to the country’s social and economic development. Since 2005, SYKES gives support to the national educational system by generating opportunities for English proficiency improvement, technical development and job inclusion for the Costa Rican youth”, commented Alejandro Arciniegas, General Manager of SYKES Costa Rica.


“For the Government, specifically for the Ministry of Work, this agreement represents a great advance in the efforts made by the company and Government sectors in the pursue of more and better employment options for Costa Ricans. Sykes is a real example of our country’s good investment climate and our quality human resource”, highlighted the Minister of Work, Victor Morales.


According to the Minister of Foreign Trade, Alexander Mora: “We have identified that in Costa Rica, one of the most important enablers is the language proficiency. Therefore, these instruments will allow us to generate more quality jobs in the country. SYKES’ effort, in alliance with the Government, must be supported. We hope more companies decide to contribute with social responsibility models that result in actions like these”. 


Jorge Sequeira, Managing Director of CINDE, said “these initiatives between public and private organizations allows Costa Rica to continue encouraging the growth of human talent, which also expands our possibilities as an organization to lead more companies into investing in communities outside the GAMA. We hope more companies can replicate SYKES’ initiative in the short term to keep offering more quality job opportunities to Costa Ricans”.




SYKES, a multinational company with more than 35 years of experience, is a contact service provider for worldwide leading companies. Located in Tampa, Florida, it has a global operation of more than 70 contact centers in 21 countries and more than 50,000 employees. With approximately 9,000 employees and more than 30 customers, SYKES Latin America operates in Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil, El Salvador and Mexico. 


SYKES has more than 15 years in Costa Rica, offering its employees an ideal job environment, learning opportunities and professional development.