Offshoring 'not costing UK jobs'

Offshoring 'not costing UK jobs'

Summary: The number of UK jobs in call centres is still growing three times faster than the market as a whole

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TOPICS: Networking
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Offshoring of IT and call centre roles to low-cost countries such as India has not hit UK jobs, according to the latest official employment statistics from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS' latest Labour Market Trends  figures show that employment growth in call centre related occupations in the UK has been nearly three times the overall growth in employment, while redundancy levels have also consistently fallen since 2001.

The employment data calculated by region is also in line with that growth trend and the ONS said this suggests offshoring has had minimal effect on the employment prospects of IT-enabled occupations across the UK.

The report said: "In other words, the UK is gaining from the increasing trend in trade of IT-enabled services — imports may have grown but exports have grown just as fast."

The report comes on the same day that Indian IT company HCL said it is to create 600 jobs at new call centres in Northern Ireland with the help of £4.68m in government grants.

The announcement was made by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair as his tour of India reached New Delhi.

HCL has based its 'nearshore' business process outsourcing operations in Northern Ireland since 2001, when it acquired BT's Apollo call centre. Earlier this year HCL also acquired Answercall Direct in Portadown.

HCL said around 400 jobs will be created in Armagh, with the remainder split between there and Belfast depending on requirements.

Topic: Networking

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