Budget 2012: We need more IT apprentices

Cliff Saran | 3 Comments
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It has not been a big budget for job creation. The Chancellor said the government was committed to increase adult apprenticeship funding by £250 million a year by 2014-15. The question is whether this is enough?

David Bywater, a KPMG tax partner, said, "The government is trying to support apprentices. It is a measure that is welcome, but the question is: is it enough? What will be the tangible benefits for business?"

However, Bindi Bhullar, director, HCL Technologies said: "Far from worrying about being left behind by foreign economies such as India, the government should instead look to follow their example, and find local government sponsorship for training and support from high-tech multinational corporations. There are so many savvy young minds who are facing the prospect of long-term unemployment today, and if the government is truly serious about embracing innovation, it should invest in IT skills for the young as a means of creating jobs, and driving Britain out of economic uncertainty."

David Roberts, executive director of The Corporate IT Forum, said, "Apprentices need much more support because the fall out rate is quite high. There has to be a mentoring programme in place. Apprentices need to have access to a business savvy mentor.

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Why do we need more IT apprentices, when even the government's own pet e-Skills agency reported in August 2011 that there were 37,000 unemployed UK IT workers?

http://www.e-skills.com/news-and-events/august-2011/e-skills-uk-reports-it-employment-levels-hit-a-record-high/

Right now companies are still firing experienced IT workers and offshoring IT work, then complaining about the so-called "IT skills shortage". Businesses should be forced to invest in their existing workforce and recruit from the current reservoir of unemployed IT staff, before demanding taxpayer subsidies to recruit yet more cheap inexperienced trainees who will simply be treated like Kleenex when their jobs are offshored or filled with intra-company transfers in turn.

Bindi Bhullar, director, HCL Technologies said: "Far from worrying about being left behind by foreign economies such as India, the government should instead look to follow their example, and find local government sponsorship for training and support from high-tech multinational corporations...

HCL is one of a number of Indian outsourcing companies that has benefited from the systematic elimination of UK-based staff and the widespread use of the intra-company transfer scheme to import staff from India to replace them.

According to the Public Accounts Committee HCL imported 1873 ICT staff in 2010, from a total of over 31,000 ICT applications from various outsourcing companies in 2010. Meanwhile, there were 37,000 unemployed IT workers in the UK in August 2011.

Having helped to eliminate the jobs and career prospects of thousands of UK IT workers, including recent IT graduates who have the highest unemployment rate of any subject, these same companies now want government support to recruit UK-based apprentices at minimal cost to themselves, presumably hoping to avoid future difficulties over the ICT abuse and to make it easier to re-deploy staff within the EU.

We should insist that they recruit from the massive pool of unemployed IT staff first, thus reducing the burden on the taxpayer, before they expect to get any more hand-outs from the UK taxpayer. These companies have wrecked the UK IT industry, eagerly assisted by UK politicians. It is time to stand up to them while we still can.

Lloyds have recently off-shored ALL IT development and testing - no opportunities for the young to get a foot on the ladder there - and this from a government owned company!

They should introduce a tax that brings off-shore salaries to UK rates to provide a level playing field.

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