NASSCOM funds research to prove a point, but did it prove anything?

NASSCOM, the umbrella organisation representing Indian IT services firms and other multinationals, has part funded research by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) looking into the productivity benefits of using skilled immigrant workers.

See this article I wrote about it.

I think the Indian suppliers in particular get a really bad press, often unfair. They are always criticized when their workers take over roles previously carried out by UK professionals. But actually why blame them? UK businesses are demanding staff at a certain price with a certain level of skills and if government rules say they can use staff from overseas then they are obviously going to if it meets their needs.

Like the problems with companies reducing the amount of tax they pay in the UK, the government is the only organisation that can change this through legisalation.
So NASSCOM’s charm offensive is to partly fund research linking productivity with the use of skilled immigrant labour.

Whilst I am in no way against the use of overseas about the report doesn’t really prove much apart from proving through stats that production increased when the use of immigration increased during a ten year period.

A contact of mine summed things up: “”The association does not give any causal relationship and [that] higher productivity may attract more immigrants, e.g. rising productivity sectors will have rising salaries and profits that are more attractive to the internationally mobile. The 0.06% increase with 1% increase in immigrant share is small especially as they chose to look at 1997-2007 (pre-crash) which was a period of rising labour productivity and growth. Labour productivity rose 28% (on a per capita basis or 22% on a per hour worked basis) in this period.”

Doesn’t it all boil down to cost. Although there are skills needed in the UK from overseas in IT businesses can save money by having work done by offshore staff that cost less.