The first round of UK engineering students have arrived in India to begin their training with Indian IT services firm Wipro. The programme, a three-month technology induction course followed by six months of on-the-job training with Wipro teams, is supported and jointly funded by the UK India Education and Research Initiative.
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But the problem for the graduates will begin when they get back to the UK. Entry level jobs for these graduates to begin their careers are in short supply. This is because most of these roles are outsourced. Many of these are actually offshored, to companies like Wipro.
John Harris, chair of The Corporate IT Forum example told Computer Weekly last year that years of outsourcing commodity IT skills means young people are not being given a chance to come into the industry.
So it might be better for the careers of these graduates to stay in India for a few years because that is where a lot of the entry level jobs are being done.
But I don’t think we should be critical of the India heritage suppliers because pretty much all IT services suppliers deliver services from offshore.
The UK graduates could stay in India an extra couple of years, get skilled-up working offshore for UK businesses, and then return and take on more senior roles. The thing is I wonder how many would come back? India is a country that is developing fast so there will be lots of opportunities.
One reader gave this depressing view of the impact of offshoring on the UK IT industry. “As long as I T companies can find Indian I T workers with basic level skills, who are willing to work in the UK for very low wages and a visa, there will be no skills shortage as such. Maybe very poor skills, but as these visa chasers get skilled up at the expense of the initial clients, they will then look for other jobs and companies that will renew their visas. They will of course look for other Indian friendly companies to work for. The I T industry has imported its own cancer that will eat it from within. Having worked in the industry for many years, I suspect it will be many years before the country wakes up to having sold out UK jobs and an industry, just like it did manufacturing.”