The US Agency for International Development (USAID) that provides humanitarian and economic aid worldwide has suspended the training of 3,000 youth from war-ravaged northern Lankan districts in outsourcing skills, to ensure that the new jobs created in Sri Lanka will not take away employment opportunities from Americans.


“The programme has been suspended and is being reviewed,” stated Glen Davis, US embassy spokesperson in Columbo. Although Davis did not say why the programme was suspended, US Republican Tim Bishop, announced that “it had suspended a job skills development project in Sri Lanka while we conduct a review to ensure the project will not take any jobs away from Americans.”

Proservartner Point of View: The announcement comes within days of the US state of Ohio imposing a ban on offshore outsourcing, and illustrates an increasingly growing discontent in the US of jobs moving offshore. The discontent has been well documented, but under the current administration there is more focus than ever before on keeping jobs in the US.

What does this mean for the world of shared services and outsourcing? Well, it is becoming clear that protectionist policies will lead to an increasing amount of onshore outsourcing and shared services rather than offshoring across global locations, and this is likely to span the US and Western Europe. Providers are already adjusting to this trend by acquiring capability onshore to compliment their existing offshore delivery centres, and this move will put pressure on high levels of efficiency and automation that lead to elimination of activities (rather than mere transfer of activity) to deliver cost and service improvement.

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