This is particularly true in the IT industry, where thousands of workers enter the UK through the controversial Intra Company Transfer (ICT) scheme. This often occurs when companies offshore IT work to low cost destinations, such as India.
Whether you think there have been too many non EU workers in the UK or whether you think they are an essential resource, below are the hard facts.
An Inside Outsourcing reader has sent me all the figures on labour immigration to the UK over the last 11 years. This was provided in answer to a recent parliamentary question from James Clappison MPIt makes interesting reading and shows just how core to the immigration debate the IT industry is. It also adds fuel to the fire when it comes to the debate over alleged abuses of ICTs.
If you click on the links below you can see all the statistics, as presented by the government, for the total number of immigrant workers by occupation, the total number using ICTs by occupation and the total number using ICTs by nationality. These show all occupations but IT stands out as a major recipient of immigrant workers.
1 - Total number of immigrant workers by occupation 1997 to 2008
2 - The total number using Intra Company Transfers by occupation 1997 to 2008
3 - The total number using Intra Company Transfers by nationality 1997 to 2008
For a taster here are some of the figures for IT professionals
- Work permits granted between 1997 and 2008 for certain IT roles.
Other IT occupation - 104,070
Computer engineer - 3,720
Computer programmer - 8,610
Software engineer - 62,165
System analyst - 26,800
Of this over 300,000 were Intra Company Transfers and half were IT workers. A massive proportion were from India.
- Intra Company Transfers in the UK between 1997 and 2008 by nationality
USA - 61,845
Japan - 20,625