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5,000 IT jobs a year moving offshore

UK tech staff moving to outsourcers

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Outsourcing

Offshore outsourcers are hoovering up vast numbers of UK tech jobs every year and IT directors should do nothing to stop them, contends an Ovum study.

UK firms will lose 6% of their tech staff – the equivalent of 5% of the workforce – to offshore outsourcers over the next three years. In contrast offshore jobs will double to more than 130,000. Even though many of these UK techies will be hired by offshore firms, not enough will move to halt the decline in tech staff.

Most of the offshored roles will be in low-level technical roles, programming, call centres, helpdesks and back office administration.

Rather than fight the trend, UK firms should beef up their skills in other areas. The analyst firm believes it is critical not just for IT firms, but banking, finance and all heavily IT-dependent industries to shift their focus from technology to business-centric IT skills.

But Ovum senior analyst Phil Codling is worried that UK firms’ neglect in workforce development will create a “skills time-bomb”.

“Workforce development, including formal training and graduate recruitment, has slipped down the agenda at many IT firms in the UK in recent years.

“We face the prospect of a skills time-bomb in IT. It is not clear where the next generation of highly skilled, experienced programme and project managers will come from,” warns Codling.

This was first published in September 2006

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