Increased IT outsourcing has widened technology skills gap

Employers have widened the UK’s technology skills gap by outsourcing IT jobs overseas, research has found.

The Pay in IT 2008 report by Income Data Services (IDS) found average salaries for mid-level jobs have increased dramatically in the past year. Salaries for IT user-support technicians have jumped 13% to £24,177, while systems engineers’ salaries are up almost 10% to £31,120.

Increased offshoring of IT jobs to countries such as China and India means fewer graduate opportunities are available, and mid-level salaries are rising, according to Ken Mulkearn, editor of the IDS report.

“The sizeable pay increases we are seeing in mid-level IT support and technical roles are being driven largely by acute skills shortages,” said Mulkearn. “Outsourcing overseas meant fewer opportunities for graduates and others with less experience to get on the career ladder.”

His findings were supported by Rick Simmonds, partner at outsourcing consultancy Alsbridge. “Clients are now making sure they seed their own people offshore and get them to come back later,” he said.

Data provider Salaries Services said IT project leaders’ pay has climbed 23% since 2003 to £47,605.

Earlier this month, a poll by IT recruiters Computer People found almost 90% of permanent IT employees were looking for more lucrative job opportunities.

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