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back to article Embrace your outsourced future

The impact of outsourcing and the internet means people in the UK will need to create their own jobs, rather than hope to walk into a job as in the past. There is hardly a job left which cannot be simply and cheaply outsourced and offshored. Where once manufacturing work was sent abroad, increasingly it is design work and other …

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Bollocks

What a load of crap - it sounds like a manifesto for a race to the bottom.

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Worked for me...

I started my own business when I got reduced to a 3 day week. I'm now busier doing development on my 2 'off' days than I am on my 3 on days.

And coincidentally, a few of my projects have been to fix projects that went to India/Pakistan/Far East "code for cheap" sweatshops- the original project bid for on freelancers. There's definitely life in the old adage 'you get what you pay for'.

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Flame

With Solid Education And Training

..all you have to worry about is the Banksters. They have destroyed serious parts of British economy, not the cheap labourers in Asia.

The German economy is doing extremely well, because

A) Banksters are somewhat under control (they always bitch about a "lack of freedom" of course)

B) Everybody gets three or more years of academic or Apprenticeship. And the latter is not a comical theater as it is in other countries, as the state controls education plans and exams.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_model#Vocational_training

Now dear Anglo Banksters, I am sure you can tell me about the Nazi angle of all that. At least tell us what Ayn Rand has to say.

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Don't stare at the price

I've done some very big projects with one of the biggest companies in India, and they may be cheap, the quality generally sucks big time, everything takes much longer, and in the end, a local dev would have done it much faster and cheaper. They had 50+ devs on a task that we would only allocate a few people on. Of all those devs I talked with, only one matched the level of intelligence I see here. And yes, they all had university degrees....

Another downside is that when a competing firm offers a dev a little higher pay, he's off within a week. After a few years there was almost nobody of the original team left. Some issues have needed full explanation at least 3 times because the dev had quit before the issue was fixed.

So I'm not afraid *at all*...

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In other words: you're fucked, and I'm going to make a profit on that!

"Start your own businesses" -- doing *what*? Washing Matt Barrie's twenty cars?

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Usually short-sighted micro-economic crud.

Seriously, this is the same old bollocks.

"Look, the past was like this, so the future will be Exactly The Same."

No it won't. Every change in society offers unique problems.

The whole "service economy" thing was nonsense in the first place, because information is logistically easier to offshore than manufacturing was, and it didn't even protect jobs for a generation.

Our "service economy" is a big old pyramid scheme that's trying to maintain higher wages here than elsewhere, but as a result, we've devalued Real Work so much that we have to subsidise our farmers to stop them all ending up in call centres and leaving us importing all our food.

Sites like Freelancer could shape the future to some extent though, but only because it increases the number of suppliers, therefore increases the competitive pressure, and if eBay and Amazon Marketplace have taught us one thing, it's that once you start an auction, there's always someone daft enough to take the price a couple of quid too far. Various design and coding "competitions" have also shown that this holds for the job market too -- unemployed people will happily complete a full job for the mere possibility of being paid a distinctly average sum at the end of it.

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FAIL

Board Room Fad Surfing

Whilst there are many good uses of outsourcing and off shoring, the current board room fad surfing is going to wreck those companies, using the "lets outsource everything" approach, rather than thinking it through.

If you outsource all of your functions (BPO & IT), where is your next product innovation coming from?

If you do come up with a good idea anyway, and require the outsource'ers to do the build, how quickly do you think your competitors are going to catch up, if they use the same firm?

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FAIL

Business Britards

"Yes, it's all about selling things to other people, not making anything or learning about stuff. No! It's about the exchange of cash for trinkets and momentary thrills. See those scientists and engineers? What are they doing?! They're not making money running their own business trading with other people, buying and selling things, delivering value for money to the consumer. Spend money, Britards! The economy is failing!"

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End of the world somewhat exaggerated

The market conditions that favour offshoring are usually a relatively transient result of education running ahead of economic development. As the offshore economy develops, so the demand for skills that are being exported increases, pushing up the cost of those skills. The ancillary costs and difficulties of offshoring are such that this can make it uneconomic quite quickly.

India got a lot of call centre jobs because for historical reasons it has a surprisingly high proportion of English speakers. It got a lot of IT development work because it had more technically literate English speakers than most low-cost economies. The other low-cost economies that are coming on-stream for offshoring mostly have more of a problem with language, which makes their technical skills harder to export.

The offshoring thing doesn't just happen because there are billions of people offshore. It's a market response to identifiable changes.

The most obvious of these was the development of cheap, high-speed telecoms and data networks. I'm not an expert, but I would guess that the big pay-off from that has already happened. Most of the billions who are still waiting for internet access probably don't have the skills to offer an offshoring opportunity (or threat, depending on your viewpoint).

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Worst advice ever

> best chance of reducing UK youth unemployment was to get people to start their own businesses

So you come out of college with £20k of debt round your neck and a credit rating that makes Greece look like Fort Knox.

"Oh well, if you can't get someone to employ you - just start you own business" Get a grip! For a start, people coming straight out of school (or university - same thing; different name) have literally no idea about working for a living - I know, I didn't and most new graduate recruits flounder just as much as I did. They've never done it, they don't know the disciplines involved or what is the difference between a saturday job in Tesco and a career. The absolute last thing they should be doing is making their own precarious existences more complicated by adding on to of that the extra burden of running a business: PAYE, VAT, billing, marketing, product design, dealing with suppliers or (worse) customers.

Since most of the academics in university (and almost all of the ones in schools) have never had a proper job outside their cloistered calling, they are in no position to offer careers advice - even though they often do. They won't offer their charges any training in how to "do" a career, let alone how to "do" a company - ask them to fill in a VAT return and they'd probably cry.

So what _should_ the outpourings from our academic institutions be looking for? First of all, count their inherent advantages: they can legally be employed in Britain, they live in the country, they speak good enough english and can often write and read it, too. Some can use a calculator and a few will own a suit. Sounds like the ideal qualifications for an estate agency. For the non suit-owners? well, there's always the saturday job in Tesco's that they scorned, for three years of carefree drinking.

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Ru
Boffin

Don't make cheap rubbish?

You can't compete with someone who's skills are 'good enough' but whose cost of living is a tiny fraction of your own. You'll never make cheap consumer goods more profitably than a Chinese factory, and its been the case for years that barrel-scrapingly awful web code can be made by a bunch of guys in Thailand for a few dollars. Sure, it will suck, but most web stuff sucks so who can tell?

I'm not particularly bothered, my skills are quite specialist and are likely to remain relevant and lucrative for a good few years yet. The sorts of people who can replace me will have had expensive western academic education; they're not likely to work for pennies when they can so easily get much more.

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Unhappy

So who are you selling your products to?

If you keep squeezing peoples' wages then eventually they won't have any money to buy your products. Now I know that modern marketing looks for ways to force people to buy your stuff but this won't work in the long term.

The neat thing is these pundit types who come out with this BS all have secure jobs. For now. One guilty pleasure I enjoy is watching as they're picked off one by one -- outsourced. "First they came for the shop floor workers, but I'm a shop floor worker so I cheered them. Then they came for the skilled technical staff, but I'm not a techie so I cheered them on. Obviously they'll never come for me since I'm too important....."

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Anonymous Coward

Finally someone else who can see the big picture

Shrinking global wages will have the inevitable, albeit delayed effect of shrinking the amount of money in the market.

Unfortunately business execs are way too focused on quarterly profits and won't care what effect they are having on the global economy until it's too late

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Have anyone heard of balanced trade?

It's amazing how people run like hens to the corners of the henhouse. Nope, the fox ain't gonna look there... Even if it skips you, your offspring has no chance.

A race to the bottom is a race to the bottom, it's simple math. One either protects his house or loses it, it's simple common sense. Leaving the house open and hiding under the bed is childish at best.

The protections are called Balanced Trade and Glass-Steagall. Learn about it and grow some feathers... at least.

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WTF?

My 1000 cats...

each with a cheap iPod knock off, and trained to recognize characters. are all asking "can I has captcha's to entry please?". Its the equivalent of the paper routes us North American kids had back in the days before the interwebs.

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Stop

Cheering Up You Anglos...

Please ask yourself the following Questions:

A) How many dirt-cheap Engineers did it take to invent MySQL ?

B) How many dirt-cheap Engineers did it take to invent the Qt Toolkit ?

C) Who were the slave labourers who created the ARM processor ?

D) Is Dyson making their excellent hand-dryers in China or India ? And where did they develop them ?

E) What was the name of the name of that dirt-cheap labourer inventing HTTP/HTML ?

F) Why does Accuracy International only use unskilled labour ?

You can't find the answer ?

I think you will figure there is a big difference between simple, routine work and inventing something innovative. A big difference between screwing something together and making high-performance Diesel engines.

Maybe it is simply time to lose Faith In Money. Education, Training, Skills, creative, free thinking and being proud of your profession. Expecting a decent life instead of Money, Lordship, Barbados holidays and all that crap. A Seat is often much more useful than a Porsche. It's only in your mind. The problem is *your* greed. Not the world as such.

By the way, worldwide wealth indeed grows as more people manufacture useful things. Because useful things make wealth, not funny paper pieces, peerage and all that claptrap.

Your man Ricardo knew long ago:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Ricardo

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Anonymous Coward

What Tripe!

As stated by others, outsourcing can result in poorer quality work, because of inexperience, and different technical, cultural, and contextual skills; this can leave unexpected surprises to be discovered at a far more costly stage; this is on top of the initial outsource costs, and can easily result in a higher total cost compared to not outsourcing.

As stated most individuals just out education are quite naive, so need guidance to get up-to-speed with working, and acquire necessary experience and skills, so Freelancer is frankly irrelevant to most of these individuals. I have been employed for many years, but doubt I could run a business all by myself, given the range of skills I still need to acquire!

What is needed is to encourage employers to stay and offer more jobs here, is for the state to drastically simplify and abolish useless (even harmful) commercial legislation and taxation, thus make the UK more attractive for businesses

e.g. end the minimum wage, because it reduces the number of jobs available, and the constrained productivity prevents a rise in profits to fund investment in further jobs; so it is actually poorly thought out Socialist nonsense *!

Have a read of Adam Smith "The Wealth of Nations" and see what he had to say about wage constraints, and all forms of state supported corporate monopoly, as being harmful to employment, customers, and thus the economy.

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