If Labour is elected at the next election and follows through with an idea to change procurement rules to force businesses to create an apprentice for every job done by a migrant worker it could really shake the IT outsourcing sector.
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Currently offshore IT suppliers rely heavily on bringing staff to the UK to work on customer projects. Despite these suppliers moving to non-linear business models they currently rely heavily on the lower cost of labour in their home countries to compete.
Immigration is a subject which always hits the headlines when political parties try and score points against one another. As it is party conference season they have been at it again.
Labour shadow immigration minister Chris Bryant said that Labour would introduce a rule that would force IT suppliers to create an apprenticeship for every UK job done by a non EU worker. He later confirmed this includes Intra Company Transfers (ICTs). This is the route used by offshore suppliers to bring workers to the UK. If a supplier has a UK operation they can use the uncapped ICT system.
A massive proportion of ICTs in the UK are IT workers and a massive proportion are from India working for Indian IT service providers.
This is what Bryant wrote in a blog on the Huffington Post: “[The rules] will require every firm hiring a migrant worker from outside the EU to offer an apprenticeship in return. We will use procurement rules to ensure that large firms given government contracts offer apprenticeships. This will apply to what’s called ‘Tier 2’ workers, and we will consult on whether it should also apply to some intra-company transfers.” He has since confirmed to Migration Watch, via Twitter, that it will include ICTs.
I really want to know what [people think of this. Is it feasible?
Will it mean increased prices from India?
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