Could your next contracting assignment come from India or China? New figures from PeoplePerHour suggest that this is more than a vague possibility.
Emerging markets in the East, many of which have traditionally been outsourcing hubs for Western businesses, are looking beyond national boundaries to attract talent on a massive scale. PeoplePerHour has seen a 234% increase in the number of UK-based micro-businesses and freelancers selling their skills to employers in Eastern Europe, East Asia, India, Pakistan and the Middle East.
Over the last year there was an eight-fold leap in the number of UK freelancers carrying out work for Japanese businesses, while those working for Indian firms surged five-fold.
Thousands of UK businesses have moved their call centre and IT support services to India over the last decade or so, attracted by cheaper labour costs; however, India’s small business and start-up sectors are now booming and inwardly investing in their own growth rather than focussing exclusively on providing support services to Western companies.
The most sought-after skills include copywriting, business planning and design, all of which are in scarce supply amongst the local workforce.
PeoplePerHour’s founder and CEO, Xenios Thrasyvoulou, said that the UK had a competitive advantage with the specialist skills offered by its freelance workforce. He continued: “And thanks to the evolution of the online marketplace, this pool of highly-skilled freelance professionals are now in a position to sell their skills to businesses across the globe. This burgeoning freelance marketplace, which enables UK professionals with specialist skills to export their talents, could radically change the way businesses operate in the future.”