Learn new skills to counter offshoring, UK IT workers warned

The continuing corporate trend to offshore traditional IT services is putting increasing pressure on UK IT professionals to deliver more relevant skills.

The continuing corporate trend to offshore traditional IT services is putting pressure on UK IT professionals to deliver more relevant skills.

The warning comes in a new report on offshoring from the British Computer Society (BCS).

The BCS said UK employers were reporting growing difficulty in recruiting IT practitioners who could offer accomplished and qualified second-generation skills, such as project management, business analysis, supplier management and security.

The report, “Embracing the Challenge, Exploiting the Opportunities: Building a World Class IT Profession in the Era of Global Sourcing”, offers a seven-point action plan to help the UK IT profession respond to the threat posed by globalisation.

Elizabeth Sparrow, chair of the working party that drafted the report, said, “In order to meet the challenge of offshoring, the IT profession needs to take action now to raise professional standards and meet immediate as well as anticipate future business needs.”

The current BCS-led Professionalism in IT programme is seen by the report’s working party as central to ensuring that IT practitioners have the skills to meet new UK employer requirements. 

The programme, developed by an alliance of public and private organisations and businesses, aims to raise professional standards and improve the ability of IT practitioners to deliver IT solutions which will add benefit to the business environment. 

The programme includes the development of a chartered IT professional (CITP) accreditation. The BCS said the CITP would deliver an industry gold standard.

The report also called for the UK education system to encourage young people to consider IT as a career option, and to increase the number of graduates entering the industry to counter the decline in numbers of students following IT-related courses.

This report comes at a time when employment in the UK IT industry is forecast to grow at five to eight times the average employment growth in the UK over the next decade, according to the BCS.

The full report can be viewed at:
www.bcs.org/offshoring/report

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