Outsourcing a growing concern for tech sector; survey

Strong job outlook offset by skills shortage

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The outlook for jobs in the European technology sector is good but the spectre of outsourcing looms ominously, according to a new report.

The IT Confidence Study, conducted by Eurocom Worldwide and Simpson Financial & Technology PR (Simpson FTPR), asked 217 senior executives across Europe about their views on the sector.

The survey found 63 per cent of respondents expected the number of people working in the tech sector to increase over the next 12 months, compared to 58 per cent last year. Meanwhile, four per cent expect job losses during the year, as opposed to eight per cent last year.

"The outlook for jobs is reflected in the fact that skills shortage is now listed as the biggest threat to the tech sector," commented Ronnie Simpson of Simpson FTPR.

Despite the need for more skills, Simpson warned that certain jobs in the industry are at risk of being outsourced to countries such as China or India. "The study finds that not only are traditional manufacturing jobs at risk, but increasingly service jobs are shifting to low-cost centres as well," he said.

These fears were shared by 81 per cent of the study's respondents who believe their country is losing tech manufacturing jobs to low-cost centres, with 58 per cent believing that service jobs are moving as well.

The jobs most in demand in the industry are software engineers followed by international sales, project management and local sales people. The report found that the divisions within the tech sector that are expected to see most growth over the next 12 months included IT security and customer relationship management.

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