Nearshoring Companies Turn to Foreign Workers Due to Lack of English Proficiency in Mexico


In Mexico, nearshoring companies have hired up to 10% of their workforce from foreign workers, whom they prefer to hire due to the scarcity of Mexican personnel proficient in the English language, according to a study by the Japanese company Kumon.

In Mexico, less than 5% of the population is fluent in English, and for qualified workers and others, it is estimated to be less than 3%. Héctor Barrera, the director of international expansion at the Japanese firm, explained this situation.

Companies, especially those engaged in nearshoring, face significant challenges in hiring bilingual staff. Approximately 10% of the personnel in such workplaces are already foreigners.

Most foreign residents in the country come from the United States, accounting for 66%, according to the 2020 Population and Housing Census. The remaining 34% come from other parts of the world.

The issue for foreign companies that have established a presence in Mexico is finding bilingual personnel, and this challenge may intensify in the coming years. Academic delays in Mexico span three to four school cycles, and English language education has also regressed in over 70% of students.

On the other hand, Fernando Valdovinos, a tax specialist and director of the firm, described how over 90,000 digital nomads have already settled and are working in the country’s major cities, making them sought after by more companies.

Platforms like LinkedIn and other networks demonstrate an increased offering of job positions for foreigners, largely because they are bilingual.

More than 800 foreign companies have entered Mexico under the concept of nearshoring or relocating production chains, and approximately 70% of them face difficulties in hiring high-level executives and personnel proficient in the English language.

According to Kumon’s studies in Mexico, a survey conducted among foreign companies in Yucatán, Coahuila, Sinaloa, and other regions reveals that most of them require well-trained personnel for digitalization and executive roles who can also speak English.

Source: El Siglo de Torreon