April 19, 2007

Unions, Schools Tackle Outsourcing Boom

Enrollment is down at computer engineering schools because of a perception that IT jobs can all be outsourced to India.

Schools now must “outsource-proof” their graduates by teaching them skills that cannot be replicated elsewhere, such as project management, the Tampa Tribune reports.

One study suggests that up to 29 percent of all U.S. jobs will “offshoreable” by 2030.

In the United Kingdom, some hospitals are outsourcing medical transcription to India and the Philippines; others say doing so costs local jobs, and increases risk of fatal medical errors.

The Newspaper Guild is protesting plans by the Boston Globe and the New York Times Co. to outsource advertising and circulation employees to India. The Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and the Columbus Dispatch have all outsourced customer service and graphic design departments to India or the Philippines, the IndUS Business Journal reports.

The federal government is spurring the trend by granting more than half of all H-1B visas for skilled foreign workers to reps from Indian companies who act as “ambassadors” that seek to drum up even more outsourcing contracts, the International Herald Tribune reports.

Sources:

“Outsourcers corner market for U.S. skilled worker visas”
International Herald Tribune, April 14, 2007

“Outsourcing of U.K. hospital records to India opposed”
Indo Asian News Service, April 13, 2007

“Boston Globe outsourcing draws cries from union”
IndUS Business Journal (MA), April 15, 2007

“Outsource-proofing the next crop of college grads”
Tampa Tribune, April 12, 2007

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