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The UK government will demand that IT services suppliers have a staff development plan, if they want a slice of its £14bn annual spending on IT services.

Skills secretary John Denham said: "Wherever possible Government spending should not just provide good public services, it should also ensure young people are trained in the skills we need for the future."

The government's various chief information officers have said they will require successful bidders for projects to have staff skills and training programmes in place.

Denham held a conference yesterday to discuss how to promote such training. Of course the reason why government uses outside contractors in the first place is to cut costs - all the big government providers like EDS use offshored staff so that they can offer cheaper services.

But with Chancellor Alistair Darling promising that his "Operational Efficiency Programme" will cut £15bn from Britain's out of control spending, half of that from IT spending, we can see a bit of conflict between getting the lowest prices and providing jobs and training for young British workers.

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