Union blames IT meltdown at British Airways to outsourcing to India

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The British Airways is facing a third day of disruption at Heathrow Airport as the airline continues to deal with major failures of its IT system, reported the media today (29 May). Tens of thousands of BA passengers were affected.

The IT failures affected check-in and operational systems, including customer service phone lines.

BA is potentially facing a £100m compensation bill over its IT meltdown. The airline is also dealing with a backlog of lost luggage after many passengers had to leave the airport without their bags, as they have already been checked in.

Meanwhile, BA workers’ union has blamed outsourcing of IT jobs to India for the IT meltdown. It said the “meltdown” could have been avoided if BA hadn’t made hundreds of IT staff redundant and outsourced their jobs to India at the end of last year.

“This could have all been avoided. In 2016 BA made hundreds of dedicated and loyal IT staff redundant and outsourced the work to India,” said a union official.

BA denied the union’s claim. BA CEO said it was believed that “the root cause [of the computer problems] was a power supply issue”.

Only 7% of engineering graduates in India are employable

In any case, a study by a New Delhi-based HR company last year shows that only 7% of engineering graduates in India are employable.

The company, Aspiring Minds, conducted an employability-focused study based on 150,000 engineering students who graduated from Indian universities. It found that barely 7% are suitable for core engineering jobs.

As many as 97% of graduating engineers want jobs either in software engineering or core engineering. However, only 3 per cent have suitable skills to be employed in software or product market, and only 7 per cent can handle core engineering tasks.

According to the HRD ministry of India, the country has 6,214 engineering and technology institutions which are enrolling 2.9 million students. Around 1.5 million engineers are released into the job market every year. But the dismal state of higher education in India ensures that they simply do not have adequate skills to be employed, the company said.

The findings were, indeed, rather shocking.

It’s not known if any of the engineers in India are responsible for the current BA’s massive IT failures.

Source: We want Minister Grace Fu to resign

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