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'Chennai graduates better for software than British counterparts'

Software group iSoft said UK universities are turning out the wrong sort of graduates for software manufacturing.

business Updated: Dec 12, 2003 11:28 IST

Graduates coming out of universities in Chennai are more suitable for software manufacturing work than those coming out of British universities, a leading software group says.

iSoft, a group that is involved in a£1.1 billion contract to build a patients record database in the northeast of England, will carry out most of its work under the contract in Chennai.

The group says there is unlikely to be any return on the investment in creating a knowledge economy in Britain from the contract because British universities are turning out the wrong sort of graduates.

The Manchester-based firm is part of a consortium that will deliver the£1.1 billion contract. iSoft is also in the running for three further contracts to be awarded by the government next week.

But despite having placed its offices close to Manchester's three main higher education institutions, iSoft's chief executive Patrick Cryne admitted that much of the software manufacturing work will be done at its new facility in Chennai.

"The people that come out of these institutions are not vocationally ready for the kind of jobs we need, whereas the training in Chennai is pushing people out who are vocationally ready."

He said that while Britain was still a world leader in developing software, when it came to writing new code -- the equivalent of software manufacturing -- graduates were not interested.

"We have the knowledge but we do not have the manufacturing capacity to turn that knowledge into products," Cryne told reporters.

First Published: Dec 12, 2003 11:28 IST