The strengthening trend for software and IT (S/ITS) services jobs to be moved overseas will see the UK losing 5,000 onshore positions per year, a new report claims.
Research from market analysts Ovum predicts that the number of UK-based S/ITS staff will fall by five per cent by the end of 2008, as positions are off-shored to locations such as India.
The majority of jobs will go from programming and low-level technical roles such as call centre and help desk jobs, plus back-office corporate administration.
Instead of trying to stop the trend, UK firms should concentrate on improving business-centric IT skills which will drive the competitive advantage of UK businesses, the company advised.
"Not everything can be done offshore. There will remain a requirement for local domain experts that can translate business needs into IT solutions," said Ovum senior analyst Phil Codling, who led the project.
However, he conceded that the industry may not be ready for such a challenge, with the low priority of workforce development potentially leading to an IT "skills time-bomb" for the future.