Leading figures from the world of business, consultancies, trade unions and politics gathered earlier this month in central London for a debate on offshore outsourcing.
The debate, organised by best practice group the National Outsourcing Association (NOA), was at its liveliest when focusing on the people aspects of moving functions offshore.
Rory Murphy, joint general secretary, Amicus
“It’s incredible that companies call staff their greatest assets, but don’t want to talk to them. We’re not about standing on the motorway and saying: ‘Halt your outsourcing’. But we want to know the reasons behind it.”
Jayant Krishna, sales director, Tata Consultancy Services
“For many years, we have been trading globally to get raw materials at the cheapest price, so why should talent be any different?”
Peter Skyte, national officer, Amicus
“People often draw parallels with manufacturing, but we live in a knowledge economy. Most of our assets are intellectual, not tied up in physical plants.”
Nigel Roxburgh, co-founder, NOA
“If you invite the unions in at an early stage, it may be premature, and cause unnecessary angst for their members.”
Nada Kakabadse, professor, Cranfield Business School
“Our research shows the number of people going into IT courses is going down, because they don’t think they are going to get a job.”