India turns the tables on the UK, begins recruiting immigrants

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A nation of over 1.1 billion people, India is beginning to come into its own economically. And that means it is beginning to face skills shortage of its own.

Historically, Indians emigrate to other nations of the world seeking higher-paying work. Some wish to relocate permanently; some are more interested in temporary work situations that allow them to remit funds back home. Many study overseas and gain several years' worth of work experience so that they can find high level work when they return home.

One of the largest exports are IT workers, programmers who go to the United States and to the United Kingdom.

But recently, recruiters in India have been facing difficulty in filling jobs demands at home, especially for highly skilled workers.

Many international firms are out-sourcing work to India these days, and locally there is an increasing shortage of people with high level language and cultural skills.

To fill the need, recruiters have begun luring graduates from the United Kingdom.

The trend is not entirely surprising. Modern Indian culture and business have been deeply influenced by the colonial occupation of India by Britain. People of Indian origin in the UK can more easily fit in in India.

In addition, several hundreds of thousands of Indians have immigrated to the UK over the last fifty years. They brought much of their culture with them, so not only their direct children are familiar with it, but a large segment of the British population has become accustomed to it.

And this, some recruiters hope, gives an opportunity to bring some Brits to India.

Software services, programmers, various technology and engineering goods and a strong industrial capacity have created a wealth of job needs. In addition, with a need to do business around the world and, in particular, the European Union, sophisticated language skills are needed. An estimated 160,000 native-speaking teachers will be required by 2010.

The problem is not a small one ... $14.4 billion in annual business that is dependent upon English is at stake. The top two official languages are Hindi and English, but there are at least 16 more official languages.

The country is currently experiencing a 7% annual growth rate, made even more impressive by the fact that it is on the verge of becoming a $1 trillion per year economy. The average growth rate has been sustained for four years, with no predictions of slowing down any time soon.

India is currently the fifth largest steel producer in the world. Increasingly, biotechnology is becoming important, with production of generic drugs making it one of the top suppliers in the world. Biotech firms are now profitable enough and recruiting highly educated professionals that they are beginning to have their own research and development programs.

Add to all that the fact that India has become one of the top software suppliers in the world, there are plenty of opportunities for people of all nationalities to find work.


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