Seven out of the top ten importers of IT workers to the UK in 2008 are Indian companies according to data obtained by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (Apsco) under the Freedom of Information Act.
Indian giants Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys Technologies and Wipro Technologies were the top seven. US companies Accenture and IBM were came eight and tenth for importing the most IT staff to the UK, while French company Capgenmini was ninth.
The seven Indian companies accounted for 43% of the IT workers entering the UK on intra company transfers (ICTs). The total number of IT workers coming in on the Intra-Company Transfer scheme ICTs was 29,240 with 12,573 working for the Indian firms.
ICTs allows staff to apply for a permit to transfer to the UK from an overseas branch of their employer. Employers need to have a sponsor's licence to use the permit system, and could be at risk of losing their permit if they abuse the system.
Bringing overseas workers to the UK using the onshore/offfshore model to complete UK jobs is controversial, particularly when UK IT workers are being made redundant.
"Since [the offshoring boom] these companies have established subsidiaries in the UK to tap into the UK outsourcing IT market, but they are importing vast numbers of staff from India for jobs which could be filled by EU workers," said Apsco.
"These figures show just how easy it is for foreign companies to bypass the UK labour market. The majority of companies relocating non-EU IT workers to the UK aren't British companies looking to plug skills shortages, but foreign companies with their headquarters abroad moving staff to UK subsidiaries," said Ann Swain, CEO at Apsco.