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Shunting tech support to foreign countries is unpopular and a waste of time, according to new research.

Even though there is a "worrying" shortage of skilled IT staff in the UK, nine out of ten UK organisations are actively trying to keep their IT support in-house.

Of the 200 public and private sector organisations quizzed as part of the research by UK software house Touchpaper, fewer than three in ten outsource any part of their IT support service.

Just three per cent of companies would be prepared to shunt their IT support overseas even though it can often work out much cheaper.

Owen Williams, IT Director of global estate agents Knight Frank, is one of those who does not believe offshoring is the answer.

"Although I understand you can employ qualified graduates in some countries cost effectively compared to the UK, that's not much use if they hit a language barrier with the people they are trying to support.

"Help desk calls are invariably a distress activity and having any additional hurdles is a sure-fire way of adding to an already frustrating situation for the user. It's not something we would choose to do. The people using our help desk want to deliver excellent service to their clients and therefore expect the same quality from us," he said.

In December research from Frost and Sullivan found that the trend to offshore IT jobs would continue and that most companies were content with the service they received.

Indeed, it appears that the UK has benefited from the offshoring trend, according to the Advance Institute of Management. It found that despite the regular reports of jobs going overseas, even more jobs have been created in the country as other nations offshore work here. ®

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Offshoring benefits UK job market
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