Government set to lower pay threshold for IT workers on ICTs

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IT professionals were recently given a glimmer of hope with a proposal to set the minimum salary for immigrant workers in the UK using the Intra Company Transfer (ICT) route at £40,000.

This promised to make it less attractive for businesses and offshore suppliers to bring offshore workers onshore. It was widley welcomed in the UK IT profession.

But according to the Sunday Times, IT workers on ICTs will get their own very special pay threshold. This will be £24,000, according to the report. This is where it is now.

Last week the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), released its report on the level the government should set its proposed immigration cap. This is to enable the government to reach its target of bringing inward immigration to the UK down to tens of thousands per year by the end of this parliament. It was 196,000 in 2009.

I was at the launch and I asked about the absence of ICTs from the cap. Professor David Metcalf, who chairs the committee, said the government will have to reduce the use of ICTs if it is to meet its target. He said if there is no cap the government will have to make it more expensive for businesses to use ICTs. For example the £40,000 pay threshold.

If the pay threshold is not to be raised , what will the government do? Raise the cost of certificates of sponsorship is one option. 

IT professionals make up a massive proportion of ICTs. Take a look at these stats to see how many people came to the UK on ICTs over the last decade and what they were doing. 

The Sunday Times article says that IT workers will be allowed to move to Britain for up to a year as long as they earn at least £24,000.

But the fact that it is only for up to a year could be a way the government can fudge its immigration promise. Long term immigration is people that come for over a year.

The government has said it wants net migration to come down to tens of thousands. Will short term immigration be included?

Thousands of IT workers in the UK using ICTs are only in the UK to be trained so they can return offshore to do jobs remotely.

Offshore suppliers will be able to continue to send workers to the UK to be trained to replace UK workers.

12 Comments

We will hear what Theresa May plans to do tomorrow, but if the Sunday Times is right then the changes are unlikely to reduce the loss of UK IT jobs, or protect UK IT graduates, or help UK IT service firms that employ UK workers rather than use intra company transfers.

The big outsourcers/offshorers/onshorers will be very pleased that they have got off so lightly.

Why do uk citizens want to work in IT ?
It is known that information technology is better done by Indians. From a cast perspective indians are better suited for IT and engineering work. There should be no pay threshold whatsoever for IT work...

Why do uk citizens want to work in IT ?
It is known that information technology is better done by Indians. From a cast perspective indians are better suited for IT and engineering work. There should be no pay threshold whatsoever for IT work...

It looks like one of the most influential commentators on the IT industry read the same article and is getting "increasingly angry".

http://www.techmarketview.com/ukhotviews/archive/techmarketviewin-the-house-of-commons

Richard Holway got into the UKTech50 most influential IT people in the the UK.
http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2010/11/03/243717/UKtech50-The-most-influential-people-in-UK-IT.htm&sa=U&ei=boHqTLbmMoiChQfQ2vUP&ved=0CBAQFjAB&usg=AFQjCNHrA6s_5JmQMmhalbvr5UidxHN8Kg

@Anand:
"It is known that information technology is better done by Indians..."

1. "Known" by whom? All I can say is that this has no been my experience on any of the IT projects I've seen in the last 10 years at least.

"...From a cast perspective indians are better suited for IT and engineering work."

2. If Brits said this kind of thing, we'd quite rightly be called racist (or just plain ignorant), so what does that make you?

If I were you, I'd start learning Mandarin, old boy.

So you are saying that because you have a cast system you are better IT workers? Wise words my friend (that is called sarcasm, it's a UK thing)

Anand Sharma is the name of the Indian Industry Minister famous for complaining about protectionist actions when other countries make it more difficult for Indians to work onshore, but ignorant of his own countries much more restrictive policies on employment visas.

So that is certainly someone taking the mickey.

Anand,
From my experience of working over many years with large numbers of Indian software developers, I find that many of them are lacking the knowledge of the basic concepts of Computer Science. I’m talking about things such as modularising code, commenting, making use of indexes, table buffering etc. These are things that were covered extensively when I did my IT degree. This leads me to conclude that an IT degree from a UK University is superior to one from an Indian University and hence why UK IT professionals are often of a higher calibre.
By the way, don’t even get me started on the difference with regards to communication skills and the ability to speak the English language coherently:)

"cast" is spelt "caste" isn't it?

Anyway, I think we should follow the wise Indian government and set a minimum foreigner's salary that is twice the average Indian IT salary.

That would make the UK equivalent about £75k.

I think the Independant stated that IT professionals would need to earn atleast £25k. Eitherway, will make zero difference to IT professionals in the UK.

We are collateral damage of the Government's bid entince India into a closer working releationship.

@Anand The generalisation is not appropriate. If the world was divided like what you say, it would really solve most of the problems. So manufacturing is done in China, IT is done in India, Banking is done in UK, Oil refineries are in Middle East, and so on and so forth. But that is not true. I have seen Indians who are crap at programming basics and I have seen Brits who are not very good either. So it is not in genes.

@Mark Just don't get me started on communication. My guess is the proportion of English speaking Indians who are well versed with grammar is far better than what we get in Britain. I am yet to meet a real Brit who can actually speak proper English. I am not talking here about the rich and affluent but general public like you and me.

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This page contains a single entry by Karl Flinders published on November 22, 2010 10:47 AM.

Could Atos Origin face direct peaceful action by a disability action group? was the previous entry in this blog.

Offshore IT worker exemption from new pay threshold makes influencial UK IT figure angry is the next entry in this blog.

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