By Derek Stewart
“Offshoring” is a loaded word and controversial topic. To some it means corporate greed gone rampant, lost jobs, destroyed industries, wider economic and societal problems. To others it means embracing a globalised economy, uniquely benefitting developing nations by giving them a real chance to rise out of poverty, redistributing the wealth of the world and lower priced goods and services, for a win-win situation.
There is the often told story of someone losing their job because it was offshored or outsourced, but there’s the less publicised story of the new jobs created by offshoring. Every story has two sides, the rise of technology and automation has caused the loss of many jobs and ended long standing industries ever since the Industrial Revolution. However, it has also created jobs that never existed before, in researching, developing, implementing and improving that same technology and automation, creating industries that never existed until recently like mobile app development or SEO specialists.
This is why when I hear about jobs being lost in Australia to offshoring hubs such as the Philippines, I also look to the jobs that are being created by this change, and how this will affect Australian employees over the next 5-10 years. I see it as a reflection of the dynamic world we live in, where the only constant is change, and the shifts in the skills required in the marketplace are evolving in front of our eyes, faster than ever before. It also highlights to me the importance of being adaptable and forward looking, you can’t predict every change, you can only make yourself flexible and agile, knowing the changes will inevitably come, and handling them as they do.