UK IT could learn from outsourcers

Offshore outsourcing has already changed the skills sought in the UK jobs market, according to Paul Smith, group marketing...

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Offshore outsourcing has already changed the skills sought in the UK jobs market, according to Paul Smith, group marketing director of recruitment consultancy Harvey Nash.

"IT staff need skills such as project management, business analysis and systems architecture," he said.

When it comes to skills and training, UK companies could learn from offshore suppliers, many of whom have accreditation to demonstrate their expertise, he added. "Any decent offshore company has some form of accreditation, such as the Capability Maturity Model. A world-class [offshore supplier] will have level five but there are not many UK companies that have level three, let alone level five.

"IT departments and software departments [in the UK] have little expertise in working with formal processes for software development or project management."

The IT jobs most at risk from offshore outsourcing include straightforward coding and software development work, which can be done anywhere in the world much more cheaply than in the UK.

"If staff continue without specialist technical or business skills they will be taken out [by offshore outsourcing]," said Smith.

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