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ICTs are key global businesses but focus must be on enforcement and up-skilling UK workers, says REC

ICTs are key global businesses but focus must be on enforcement and up-skilling UK workers, says REC Technology

The REC has provided the recruitment industry perspective on immigration issues in recent discussions with the Home Office, the CBI and leading multi-national employers. The spotlight has again fallen on intra-company transfers (ICTs) which are of particular relevance to recruiters in high-end sectors such as Technology.

The rules covering ICTs were reviewed last year and it was agreed that there should be a 40k salary threshold to ensure to these were not simply used as a way of brining in relatively junior staff. The &pound40k limit is dropped to &pound24k if the worker is staying in the country for less than a year.

The latest feedback from Government is that they will be reviewing how the scheme is operating in practice and measures that may be needed to tackle any abuses of the new criteria. The REC was recently invited to take part in a CBI roundtable with senior Home Office officials on this particular issue.

Commenting on the latest developments, Jeff Brooks, Chair of REC Technology says:

"Immigration issues are always politically sensitive. The latest jobs figures and the growing youth employment crisis have sharpened the debate. With regards to ICTs, the key is to ensure that the recently revised criteria are properly enforced - in particular, by cracking down on the misuse of so-called allowances to meet the salary threshold”.

“At the same time, employee mobility is an intrinsic part of the way global businesses develop their staff and spread expertise through their organisations. Cutting or unduly curtailing ICTs would send the wrong message to the international business community and would result in some major employers reviewing where they choose to establish”

“We recognise the realities of an increasingly global business landscape but will continue to work with the Home Office to ensure that clear examples of abuse in the ICT system are addressed. The other major priority is to address the UK’s own skills base”.

“Our recent report showed a significant skills deficit in the technology sector which we need to address as a matter of urgency. Specialist recruiters have a key role to play by highlighting the specific roles and skills that employers are looking for. The industry can also take the lead by encouraging more young people to look at careers in the technology sector through initiatives like the youth employment charter”.

The REC Technology research report & lsquo;"Skills Shortages in the ICT Workplace" was published earlier this year.

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