Using foreign workers to replace UK based contractors in the IT field is becoming a worrying trend for the UK IT jobs market. Ann Swain, who is the head of the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) acknowledges the potential for widespread abuse.
“We’re looking at about 35,000 IT professionals coming into the UK frankly in a market that is not short of IT professionals in the incumbent workforce.” However, with the potential to legally employ foreign workers for nearly half the costs of a UK resident, it seems that even British Telecom (BT) are employing this method of cost reduction. They are employing Indian workers through Tech Mahindra, an Indian based company, to travel to and work in this country.
Tech Mahindra insist, “our operations in the UK comply with all the prevalent laws governing immigration and work visas. Employees are transferred to the UK, if and only if their particular skills are needed to execute a client’s projects.”
This is being looked into by Professor David Metcalf of Migration Advisory Committee who concludes “the people coming in to do IT jobs are disproportionately coming in through the intra company transfer route and we will be having a proper look at that in our review. If there were real elements of, for example displacement or undercutting, we will report on this.”
It is another blow to the already struggling UK job market to find that foreign recruitment services are being favoured over UK workers.