Indian IT service provider Zensar has launched a programme with the University of Essex to train UK professionals working in outsourcing, particularly those in vendor management roles.
Analysts firms such as Forrester and Gartner have reiterated the need for more skilled workers in outsourcing with a good mix of project management skills and IT knowledge.
A Gartner report on the subject published last month said that 55 per cent of businesses focus too much on the operational level of outsourcing and not enough on strategic management.
Ganesh Natarajan, chief executive at Zensar, claimed that the aim of his company's new programme is to change such statistics.
"The world is changing to a global delivery model. Our initiative is focused on workers who might be working in the overall model but in their local market, " he said.
"It will introduce specific features, such as the practicalities of controlling an IT infrastructure from a remote location, by immersing them in India for two weeks."
Natarajan is a former chairman of India's National Association of Software and Services Companies, which represents the Indian business process outsourcing industry.
Indian trade organisation Nasscom said recently that approximately 10 per cent of staff working for India's IT services companies will not be of Indian origin by 2010.
Zensar believes that the new initiative will help UK companies outsourcing to India to better manage contracts, and should assist the growing number of Indian companies expanding overseas to find staff.
"A key trend I have been witnessing is that Indian companies need workers in Europe so they do not have to keep sending staff over to Europe," said Natarajan.
This growing trend has become such a problem for Indian companies that Nasscom recently approached the European Union to request that employees of Indian companies have access to a single work visa that allows them to move freely across the 27 member states.
Current regulations mean that Indian IT staff need visas for each individual European country they visit.
Professor Jay Mitra, who will lead what will be called the Global Management Programme at the University of Essex, said that it will give students a mix of basic technical skills, project management understanding, networking capabilities and business skills.
Students will be given modules on topics such as infrastructure management, customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning and testing across the domains of telecoms, financial services and manufacturing.
"The fact that it will be run at a global and local level will also give students an understanding of the diversity issues that come into play when outsourcing," said Professor Mitra.
"At Essex we work closely with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development to link with policy initiatives in programmes. This relationship will be used as another channel to promote this new programme with Zensar."
Natarajan said that the cost of the programme will be roughly £3,000.
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