By Jon Tonti
In the last four years, the Mexico First training program has allowed 40,000 Mexican workers to become certified in popular IT platforms and some 30,000 have received some level of training. The main goal of the program, which has spent $40 million USD to date, is to certify technology workers not only in common technologies such as Java, .NET, and SQL, but also mobile languages, XQuery for big data, and other more business process specific technologies like SAP and Microsoft Exchange Server. Mexico First works in conjunction with PROSOFT, Mexico’s initiative to thrust their IT sector forward through public-private partnerships, grants, and access to training, to identify the technologies needed by Mexican and global companies and provide training in those skills.
The project is a joint initiative of the Mexican Federal Institute for Remote Services and Technology or Mexico First, the Secretary of the Economy – PROSOFT project, and the National Chamber of Electronics, Telecommunications, and Information Technology (CANIETI). Mexico First went direct to the headquarters of the largest technology companies in the world like Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, Cisco, etc. and negotiated discounts for the certification programs they provide.
CANIETI is Mexico First’s front-line to engage local businesses, universities, and citizens that seek access to discounted certification programs.
“The process is very simple. Usually the company (which needs training for its workers) responds to the training call, it depends on the technology whether it fills up fast or not, if there are not enough spots we just offer another training call,” says Karla Bautista who works for CANIETI but manages the training calls offered by Mexico First.
Any person, including students, can sign up to receive the discounted training whether they are employed or not.
Mexico First aims to deliver the certification programs of the world’s top technology companies at a fraction of their usual cost. After the price of the training has been negotiated down due to volume discounts, Mexico First subsidizes the training another 35% and looks for the participating state to do the same. The Mexican company (or individual / student) can purchase the training at 70% off the already discounted price.
“Imagine a .NET training that costs $4,000 USD, we negotiate the price down to $2,100 USD. Then the Federal government subsidizes the training 35% and the state another 35% so the business, student, or whomever ends up paying less than $700 USD,” said Andres Simon Bujaidar, the director of national and international alliances for Mexico First.
Clearly the World Bank is involved with economic development programs in every country in Latin America, however, the Mexican Secretary of Economy crafted this program and then sought World Bank assistance in the form of loan guarantees to support the program. The World Bank has been involved in auditing the programs results and seems to be satisfied showing continued and increased support in the form of larger loan guarantees to support the program, said Karla Soto of CANIETI.