More Brits See Offshoring as a Menace

Deloitte & Touche reports a jump in the percentage of people who say companies should be forced to bring jobs back to Britain

Offshoring is seen as a mounting menace with nearly a third of the UK public believing companies should be forced to bring jobs back into the country, new research from accounting company Deloitte and Touche has found.

This compares to 22 per cent who gave that answer when the same survey was conducted in January 2006, revealing public perception towards offshoring is increasingly negative.

In addition more than four-fifths (82 per cent) of Brits surveyed said they believe enough jobs have moved offshore already.

Keshab Panda, head of Europe operations at Indian IT services company Satyam, was surprised by the results but doesn't think negative public sentiment will reverse the offshoring trend. He told "Globalisation will not ever stop, we need to realise this, work together and not close boundaries."

Panda found the results surprising as he thought the UK were more positive than any other country about offshoring - and pointed out UK customers are among the most vocal in demanding low cost services, which offshoring can bring about if businesses save money because of it.

Mark Kobayashi-Hillary, offshoring director of the National Outsourcing Association, sees benefits to offshoring - including the ability for knowledge workers to compete internationally. He said: "The world of work is globalising and although in the past that has meant competition between nations or companies, we are now seeing a situation develop where individuals can compete based on their own knowledge and skills."

Nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of respondents to the Deloitte and Touche survey believe more investment is needed in skills and education for the UK to stay economically competitive.

Kobayashi-Hillary agreed, saying A-Levels, vocational training and funding of higher education need to be prioritised in the UK.

He said: "There is no time to lose as these kids are the future of Britain."

Despite the perception the UK is losing out to offshoring powerhouses such as China and India, Kobayashi-Hillary said it is actually competing well on IT services - though he admitted this advantage may not last forever.

He said: "The UK is still exporting more high value services than it is importing, so the reality is we retain far more economic power and strength in services than any of these developing regions, including India and China."

He added: "But we cannot avoid the fact that they are on track to overtake us."

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