The vast majority of the UK public perceive offshoring to be an increasing threat, with 82% believing enough jobs have moved offshore already, a study has shown.
A survey of attitudes to global economic competition, by professional services firm Deloitte and pollster YouGov, reveals just 4% of the 2,000 respondents support the continuation of offshoring and one-third (32%) believe UK companies should be forced to bring jobs back to the UK.
Public attitudes towards offshoring have become more negative since the survey was initially conducted in January this year.
Back then 22% of respondents thought UK companies should be forced to bring jobs back to the UK and 29% said they could see the advantages of offshoring, compared to just 13% now.
David Owen, consulting partner at Deloitte, said: “There are clearly personal concerns over job security behind the negative attitudes to offshoring and our own insights suggests we can expect massive increase in the financial services sector alone.”
Growing awareness of the increased mobility of both resource and labour is causing anxiety with 17% of respondents believing that offshoring presents a threat to their own jobs while a further 25% think the increasing number of workers migrating to the UK is their biggest threat.
When asked which countries posed the biggest challenges to the UK economy over the next five years, the emerging economies of China (76%) and India (48%) came out top, followed by the US (34%) and Japan (32%).
John Kerr, managing partner for innovation at Deloitte, added: “The UK needs to be in a position to benefit from operations moving offshore, rather than be threatened by the increasingly global nature of the product and services markets and this is front of mind with our top business leaders.
“In the financial services sector, for example, there is a huge amount of reinvestment of the cost saving made through offshoring to develop the high value end of the business and this should encourage the UK public to feel more optimistic.”