February 17, 2017 / 1:15 PM / 9 months ago

Accenture to create 15,000 jobs in U.S.

(Reuters) - Accenture Plc said on Friday it would create 15,000 “highly skilled” new jobs in the United States, as IT services firms brace for a more protectionist U.S. technology visa program under President Donald Trump.

Visitors look at devices at Accenture stand at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, February 26, 2013. REUTERS/Albert Gea/File Photo

The company, which is domiciled in Dublin, Ireland, said the new jobs would increase the company’s U.S. workforce by 30 percent to more than 65,000 by the end of 2020.

Accenture has more than 394,000 employees, of which about 140,000 are in India.

IT services companies have come under the spotlight after Trump said that his administration would focus on creating more jobs for U.S. workers, who had been affected by the outsourcing of jobs abroad.

Major IT service companies, particularly those based in India, fly engineers to the United States using H-1B visas to service clients, but some opponents argue they are misusing the visa program to replace U.S. jobs.

India’s software services industry is also concerned about a bill introduced in the U.S. Congress seeking to double the salary paid to H-1B visa holders which would dramatically increase the costs for the companies employing them.

Accenture said on Friday it would invest $1.4 billion to train its employees and would open 10 innovation centers in some U.S. cities.

The company’s U.S. business accounted for 46 percent of its total revenue for the year ended Aug. 31.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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