As I wrote in my previous post I had an email backlog since I was unwell. I tried to catch up with the stories and this particular one involving the Outsourcing and Telecommunications Association of Mauritius (OTAM) is somehow disturbing. Logan, our local BSD developer, spoke lengthily about it at logan.hackers.mu. I replied to the on-going discussion on the Mauritius Internet Users mailing list.

I looked at the list of incentives that the Mauritian Government is offering ICT/BPO companies:

  1. Preferential electricity rates – Savings of up to 50%
  2. SME Refund Scheme
  3. Occupation Permit
  4. HRDC – Refundable training programmes
  5. Pre-Operational Training Incentive
  6. ICT Skills Development Programme

There are companies who’re repeating the same story like a broken record that university graduates are not up-to the level. I ask them, have you considered providing an HRDC refundable training to up-skill your staff? Did you provide them a career path within your organization? There are a lot that can be done at the organization level to eliminate this gap between university freshers and an experienced developer or sysadmin. Unfortunately, every organization wants a fresher that works like a pro from the first day at job for a meagre salary. Sorry, but in 2015 I would call Rs 15K as being meagre salary for a Software Developer or Sysadmin. Don’t bother argue about that or I’ll show market prices of every commodity to live a decent life as a SysAdmin.

Well, lastly, let’s see the comment that came from the President of the Outsourcing and Telecommunications Association of Mauritius:

“Eliminating barriers and attracting foreign workers is certainly the way forward for the ICT/BPO sector. Take, for example, the textile sector. If we were to rely solely on Mauritians, the industry would not have encountered such developments and rapid growth.”

Comparing ICT/BPO with the textile industry isn’t proper. Can we compare complex operations and manual labour? Do both take the same set of skills? Now, does the “graduates quality” solve by replacing a MUR 30K earning skilled expatriate Software Engineer with a MUR 18K earning Software Engineer from India?

Logan, in one of his emails to the MIU discussion list suggested that we, concerned IT Professionals, should protest and get down to the streets. I said no, if the Government decides to abide to the tantrums of such organizations, then we should ask for unemployment benefits as it is practiced in France. Should the Government take a decision without considering the opinion of professionals in the field they should receive the retaliation in full force. Oh, when I say professionals in the field, I mean the gentlemen and ladies in operations not the suit-wearing managers in the cozy air-conditioned offices, they are not even in the field.