“One of the latest examples is the investment of the British company Westcombe International Research s.r.o. in Olomouc (Moravia). The firm will build a call center costing more than 1 million dollars and employ around 30 people. At the same time, this concerns the first British investment that CzechInvest has assisted in locating in the Olomouc region,” saysCzechInvest Regional Manager Pavlina Fliskova.The company conducts international marketing research for firms such as Accenture, Hewlett Packard, IBM and Microsoft. The Olomouc center is set to start operation on 1 February 2006. “It’s possible to locate this type of investment practically anywhere. However, we chose Olomouc because it is home to Palacky University and there are plenty of students who speak English and many other languages who we can employ effectively in the call center,“ adds Westcombe CEO Justine Kemp.
Olomouc has great potential to become a center for international services and this is thanks to Palacky University. Unlike other universities, the curriculum is focused mainly on humanities and languages. This has been beneficial to the leading world logisistics company Schneider Logistics, which in March of this year began operation of its new European center for customer support and accounting services in Olomouc. Thanks to this almost 1,8 million-dollar investment, more than 300 new job opportunities have arisen, especially for qualified workers.
Other companies are thinking along similar lines. Students and graduates of Brno University, for example, work in the newly opened call center of the German firm Lufthansa, as well as in the center operated by the Indian company Progeon, which already employs 80 people and decided this year to build a large outsourcing center in Brno. Hundreds of employees should be involved in providing services in the area of support processes.
“It’s not only call centers looking for employees with good language skills. People with technical education are also in demand. Investment in technology centers and strategic services is constantly increasing. Right now, this is significantly influencing the structure of new workplaces, more than half of which are staffed by those with secondary-school education (34%) and university education (18%)," states CzechInvest CEO Tomas Hruda. “This year 10 firms announced their intention to build a technology center in the Czech Republic and a further 20 companies will invest in shared-services centers.”
According to Jan Brezina, MEP from Olomouce, the quality of Czech university graduates is spoken highly of even in Brussels. “Following his visit to the Czech Republic, the Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potocnik, praised our university system. Just such a reference helps us gain investments whose primary purpose is not only simple production, but, for example, research or innovation of products and technology,“ says Brezina.
Justine Kemp, Chief Executive
4 THE OLD YARD RECTORY LANE BRASTED KENT TN16 1JP
Phone: +44 (0)1959 564262 / 562665
Fax: +44 (0)1959 563921