The eagerness of business leaders to outsource IT functions overseas has contributed significantly to a skills shortage in the UK, it has been suggested.
In a survey conducted by Computer Weekly, 78 per cent of readers said they thought outsourcing has had a negative impact on the UK’s collective IT skills set.
Many respondents blamed the use of intra-company transfers (ICTs) for the loss of skills from the home-grown workforce.
ICTs allow employers to bring lower-cost workers in to the UK from countries with a larger pool of technically-skilled workers.
Computer Weekly noted that UK firms are keen to hire from India in particular, given that IT professionals will work for less money that British employees doing the same job.
“Despite there currently being about 40,000 unemployed IT professionals and many more doing jobs not related their qualifications, the UK is expected to have a shortage of 100,000 people to fill IT jobs in the next few years,” the news provider stated.
“In Europe, including the UK, the skills shortage is expected to reach 700,000.”
One survey respondent called on the government to “stop importing inexperienced graduate trainees from India under the ICT scam and start giving UK graduates and experienced staff a chance instead”.
The news provider claimed this view was shared by “a large proportion” of respondents.
Another interviewee argued that companies have stopped training workers on the job, and are instead expecting to hire the finished article.
A third respondent said the UK needs to invest in technology and innovation, and do more to attract the brightest young students into the IT sector.
“Innovation in technology has the power to change all aspects of our lives, from our working environment to our leisure time, to our social interaction, on a global basis,” they stated.