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Indian companies biggest importers of IT workers to the UK

Indian companies biggest importers of IT workers to the UK
 
        No obligation to recruit unemployed UK IT workers first
        Home Office lacks resources to check foreign workers are paid at UK market rate
        Transfers being undertaken on an industrial scale
 
Seven of the top ten companies importing non-EU IT workers into the UK are Indian companies which have benefited from the offshoring of British IT jobs to India, according to data obtained by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) under the Freedom of Information Act (See table below).
 
Together, these seven Indian companies sponsored 43% (12,573) of the 29,240 IT workers entering the UK through intra-company transfers in 2008. Intra-company transfers are a type of work permit which allows companies to relocate IT staff from overseas offices, including those in low wage economies, without having to advertise vacancies in the UK first.
 
Three times as many IT workers entered the UK in 2008 than during the height of the dot com boom (2000).
 
APSCo says that the Indian IT companies transferring workers to the UK have grown rapidly as a result of the offshoring boom over the last decade, which saw thousands of British IT jobs sent to India. Since then, these companies have established subsidiaries in the UK to tap into the UK outsourcing IT market, but they are importing vast numbers of staff from India for jobs which could be filled by EU workers.
 
The data, which was obtained from the Home Office under the Freedom of Information Act, shows that most intra-company transfers were for entry or mid level IT roles, for which there are not significant skills shortages in the UK.
 
Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo, comments: These figures show just how easy it is for foreign companies to bypass the UK labour market. The majority of companies relocating non-EU IT workers to the UK arent British companies looking to plug skills shortages, but foreign companies with their headquarters abroad moving staff to UK subsidiaries.
 
Foreign companies are supposed to pay workers brought in on intra-company transfers UK market rates, but you have to wonder whether there is some economic benefit to transferring Indian workers from a low wage economy to the UK? If there is no cost-saving, then why do they do it? How exactly is the Home Office policing this?
 
She adds: Intra-company transfers were designed to be used to fill senior positions where company-specific knowledge or experience is needed, but these figures show that they are being used to fill entry to mid-level roles in which the skills used are largely standardised. Intra-company transfers are being done on an almost industrial scale!
 
APSCo points out that there are no IT occupations currently on the National Shortage Occupation list, which suggests that foreign companies could recruit entry to mid-level IT roles in the UK if they were made to do so.
 
Ann Swain says: There is no requirement for companies to tap the UK labour market before transferring workers from overseas. This is a major loophole which the Government has failed to close, despite intra-company transfers accounting for about 80% of all work permits issued in the IT sector.
 
She continues: APSCo has repeatedly asked the Government to introduce tougher checks to prevent the exploitation of this loophole, but despite talking tough it has failed take the necessary steps.

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