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'Jobs to keep moving'

India or no India, jobs will shift to places that offer more value and cost advantage, reports Prerna K Mishra.

india Updated: Jan 26, 2006 11:40 IST
Prerna K Mishra
Prerna K Mishra

In a world where nearly one billion workers from the emerging economies joined the labour market over the last five years, outsourcing is a reality that has brought with it opportunities.

And the developed world will have to live with and work around the related disruptions.

India or no India, jobs will shift to places that offer more value and cost advantage: This was clearly the consensus that emerged at the WEF session on Jobs of the Future held on Wednesday.

The session, in fact, destroyed the myth that outsourcing has destroyed jobs.

"If anything, outsourcing has created higher value jobs in the US. Only four million jobs are likely to be shifted out of the US in the next five years. That is not the end of the world. What the US needs to concentrate on is an institutional structure that will re-train people and add the relevant skill sets to the people joining the workforce," according to Manpower USA executive board member David Arkless.

He was seconded by none less than the US Secretary of Labour, Elaine L Chao.

"When we talk about outsourcing, we also need to take into consideration insourcing. If the US has outsourced 300,000 jobs, it has also insourced about 24,000 jobs. If the country decides to close its borders to the shifting of jobs, then it will have to do without the foreigners working with American companies and adding value there," Chao said.

Commenting from the Indian side, TCS MD and chief executive S Ramadorai said, "Even India will have to compete with other countries in outsourcing. Commoditised services will find their way to countries that will offer them the cheapest. But when it comes to high-end, high-value services, jobs will keep flowing to where the skill sets are."

First Published: Jan 26, 2006 11:40 IST