Some Indian suppliers want more UK citizens as staff "but where are they?"

My blog post earlier today talked about Jobcentres and the three month rule where jobseekers have to broaden their searches.

Mark Lewis, a lawyer who works in  the outsourcing sector, talked about a meeting he had recently where a CEO at an Indian supplier talked about how he wants more UK citizens to work for his company but struggles to find them.

The CEO even raised the issue with Lord Mandelson at a recent meeting.

In a recent interview with HCL, its European president told me the company wants local people in the regions it operates.

I don’t want this blog to appear to be against the use of Indian suppliers because it certainly isn’t. But the blog wants a fair chance in the jobs market for UK workers and better treatment for some workers caught up in outsourcing deals.

So I would like the offshore service providers to outline their stance on the Intra Company Transfer System and whether it is being abused. And whether they want more UK citizens as staff.

I would also like to know whether UK IT professionals are seeing any opportunities at offshore service providers in the UK. 

Thisis Mark Lewis’ comment to my earlier blog in full: “On a related, but slightly different, tack, I had a very interesting chat last week in Bangalore with the CEO of one of India’s leading IT companies. He says that he is actually looking for suitably qualified IT workers in the UK to join his company. He states that, for all the talk about Intra-Company Transfers (ICT), companies like his would much prefer to employ local IT staff. The main reasons are that there are a limited number of India-based IT workers who actually want to come to the UK under ICT and the catchment group is in the age range 24-28, so is by definition quite limited. As he has to pay his Indian staff approximately the same as equivalently qualified UK workers, it would be far less disruptive to employ UK IT staff. He asks: where are they and how do I get to know about them? He raised this issue with Lord Mandelson recently. Perhaps our Job Centres should send lists of UK IT workers to the Indian IT companies and between them and the IT consultants bodies set up a proper work exchange?”

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"...and the catchment group is in the age range 24-28..."

That might well be part of the problem. As I understand it, for several years now younger graduates have been steering away from careers in IT, partly because they can see perfectly well that there are poor long-term prospects in the industry. Even if you can find your way into an IT job at 22, why waste your 20s working for a company that will ship your job to India throw you on the scrapheap before you're 35? Meanwhile, a very large proportion of those who have already been "scrapped" are experienced IT professionals in their 30s and 40s and beyond. So perhaps if these alleged Indian recruiters recalled that it is no longer legal to discriminate on the basis of age in the UK, and adjusted their recruitment efforts accordingly, they might finally be in a position to draw on the reserve of talent and experience that is currently going to waste.

I have heard countless stories of hundreds of IT workers applying for every advertised job. I find it extremely hard to believe that anyone looking for UK IT workers is struggling to find applicants.