I have been talking to lots of IT professionals lately because I have been looking at the impact of IT offshoring on UK workers.
As a result I am putting together an article about the UK jobcentre system and how it caters for IT professionals.
But possibly the biggest problem is after three months jobseekers are expected to broaden their searches. This is difficult for specialist IT professionals and jobcentre staff don’t seem to understand that IT is an umbrella tern more a plethora of different roles.
The chain of events will begin with a specialist IT worker losing his or her job. They will have already trained an offshore replacement. After three months looking for work they are forced to broaden their search. They eventually get another job in IT but it is a completely different role.
If you repeat this, thousands of times, you lose the onshore skills and then there is no choice for businesses and government.
The skills will be lost forever.
So is the three month rule to broaden job searches appropriate in the IT sector? Three months is not a long time during a deep recession. When demand for the lost skills rises there will be a massive onshore skills shortage and UK organisations will depend on offshore suppliers.
Although this need not be a negative thing it does pass control of destiny over to suppliers. Imagine a few years down the line, a supplier could double its prices. This is unlikely but possible.
Do UK IT workers made redundant need more support potentially for longer?