Monday, October 06, 2003

The Register: "Gartner predicts one in ten tech jobs will be moved offshore by the end of next year 2004"

There's something ironically amusing about the entire move towards foreign employment for larger (and smaller, indeed) businesses, in that it makes sense when you look at it from the "efficacy" point of view that actually underlies the capitalist system we have come to depend upon. Perhaps now, all of the "technocrat middle class" (as the article puts it) will realise just what they are - resources. Not people, just workforce. Not individuals in the eyes of the corporation, but an ant that is there to do a job.

Not one of these middle class suits would argue with the fact that the business they work for is out to maximise profits. And this is the point at which they should be putting 1 and 1 together to work out that an expensive, mass workforce will lose out to an inexpensive one in the eyes of the bosses every time. The structure ensures that this is inevitable.

Currently, it seems that the foreign investment is get-what-you-pay-for, and quality of work is generally less than what you may expect here. It may be that this goes one of two ways - the quality affects finished products and services, and so a swing back towards a possibly-better educated workforce occurs, or it is actually cheaper to instill better working practices and education in the cheap labour market. Training an army of cheap drones is probably still cheaper than hiring significantly more expensive crew, especially so when both the training and working procedures have been standardised by the industry and the companies involved (probably originally to make the system more efficient in the first place).

1 in 10 jobs is a reasonable number - think of 10 people in a room, then remove one of them. It's a noticeable change. Expect the number to increase rapidly if the processes instigated abroad get slicker.

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