Shell IT staff who leave as a result of the company’s plans to cut thousands of jobs in its technology division will be well placed to find employment, according to recruitment consultants.
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The oil giant last week announced plans to cut thousands of IT jobs, eliminate unnecessary software applications and standardise hardware in an attempt to cut its technology budget by £475m and improve overall efficiency.
The global IT workforce at Shell, which totals 9,300, will fall by between 20% and 30% by 2006, with several hundred UK IT jobs at risk. However, worried staff should remain optimistic, said John Ellis, director of recruitment consultancy Ellis Holley Max-well.
"The market is picking up, with a marked increase in IT recruitment since January. Shell is a very well-respected company that is seen as a good training ground," Ellis said.
Some of the IT jobs at Shell will be outsourced to India and Malaysia, with other roles being scrapped, a company spokeswoman told Computer Weekly.
"Some of the possible job cuts will come about as a result of moving offshore - but not all - which is an important distinction," she said. "We are rationalising our applications and stream-lining the infrastructure, meaning some jobs will be unnecessary."
The Anglo-Dutch multinational, which already employs about 1,000 people in an IT support centre in Malaysia, has yet to decide which applications will be moved offshore, although it has signed deals with IBM and Wipro in India.
The company insisted that the cutbacks were unrelated to recent problems over how it accounted for its proven oil reserves.