IT Intra Company Transfers (ICTs) still dominate immigrant workforce in UK

It has been a while since I have written about Intra Company Transfers (ICTs) and their impact on UK IT professionals. ICTs are used as a loophole to bring workers to the UK without a visa, if a company has a UK operation.

It is a method used by many offshore IT suppliers to bring lower cost about to the UK to work on projects. It is one of the reasons why companies, such as the Indian IT service providers, can be very aggressive on price and win so many deals.

The latest figures for the period 06 April 2011 and 28 February 2012 show that IT immigrants dominate.

The top 10 occupations accounted for 15,055 immigrants out of a total 23,952 immigrant workers in the UK.

Four IT categories featured in the top ten occupations. These were: programmers and software development professionals; Information technology and telecommunications professionals; IT business analysts, architects and systems designers; and IT specialist managers. These four accounted for 8,024 ICTs out of a total 11,684 in the top ten occupations. The largest group by far with 4,342 was programmers and software development professionals.

To put this into perspective there were only 757 medical practitioners, 905 charted and certified accountants and 904 sales accounts and business development managers permitted entry.
The Migration Advisory Committee is currently looking at the level to set the minimum salary for workers that come in to do certain jobs. In the IT sector many believe the minimum pay threshold is set far too low and makes it difficult for UK IT professionals to compete with offshore workers. A source told me they are considering lowering the threshold.