Can IT services firms be the answer to the UK IT skills shortage?

There are often claims that despite thousands of IT professionals being out of work there is a skills shortage in the UK. This is often the excuse used by suppliers and their customers when roles are offshored to countries like India.

I wrote a story this morning about nine IT service providers agreeing to sign up to a charter which requires them to agree to meet certain principles.

Good to see IT service providers taking the initiative in trying to get more IT students ready for the workplace.

This is backed by the Ministry of Justice and private charity Business in the Community but has been pushed through by the suppliers themselves. Accenture, Atos, Capgemini, CSC, Fujitsu, HP, Logica, Siemens and Steria are the nine participants so far.

It is an attempt to bridge the gap between education and the workplace. Is it just scoring brownie points or will this create more UK IT jobs? Given the track records of many of these suppliers it appears they favour offshore staff. However it would seem rather strange if the service providers trained thousands of UK IT students and then offshored all the work they were trained for.

From a less skeptical viewpoint it will address the perceived lack of job-ready IT graduates.
Indian IT giant Wipro recently said it could give UK IT students training to close this perceived shortcoming.

According to The Telegraph, Wipro chairman Azim Premji offered to take UK students to India for 12 months to be trained up in software, IT and engineering.

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