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APSCo in BBC Radio 5 Live debate

APSCo in BBC Radio 5 Live debate on how leaky work permit system is damaging the UK IT sector

Ann Swain fights corner for UK IT sector

UK IT workers will continue to miss out on job opportunities unless the rules which allow companies to transfer overseas staff to the UK are tightened up, Ann Swain, CEO of the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), told a BBC Radio 5 Live investigation into the UK immigration system (aired on Sunday 27 September).

Ann Swain was speaking during a live 30-minute debate alongside Professor David Metcalf, chairman of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), on Donal MacIntyres Radio 5 Live programme investigating the impact of intra-company transfers (ICTs) on the UK IT industry.

ICTs allow companies to transfer non-EU workers to fill jobs in the UK without having to try to recruit from the UK labour market first. Nearly 30,000 non-EU IT workers came to the UK on ICTs last year.

The programme addressed what is widely perceived as the excessive use of ICTs by foreign IT companies, with Ann Swain arguing that much more stringent requirements should be placed on companies wanting to bring non-EU workers to work in the UK.

Ann Swain and Professor Metcalf discussed the recent recommendations by the MAC, which will be adopted by the Government, with Ann Swain arguing that the proposals do not go far enough and will not significantly reduce the use of ICTs in the IT sector.

Comments Ann Swain, CEO, of APSCo: Abuse of the intra-company transfer system has been going on for years in the IT sector. The Home Office needs to be much more aggressive in ensuring that companies are not bringing in entry-level workers on ICTs to undercut the UK workforce.

The intra-company transfer system was designed to make it easier for companies to bring in key senior workers who have specialist knowledge of their company. It is clear that the way in which the system is currently used barely even pays lip service to that intended purpose.

A recording of Donal MacIntyres show on Radio 5 Live with Ann Swain can be heard on BBC iPlayer at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b00myj91 until 4 October 2009.

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