As globalisation and the global sourcing of IT expertise continues to grow, the BCS is playing its part in influencing the direction of the government's planned new managed migration arrangements.
The Home Office is developing a points-based immigration system for people from countries beyond the European Economic Area (EEA). Since 2002, the BCS has been active on the sector advisory panel of Work Permits UK, part of the Home Office Immigration and Nationality Directorate.
The method for assessing labour market conditions and the level of skill shortages was developed by Matthew Dixon, the BCS's representative on the panel, and a member of its Qualifications and Standards board and Government Relations group.
The sector panel produces recommendations to refine work permits policy in relation to IT, covering the rules and processes under which people from countries beyond the EEA gain access to work in the UK.
While the progress in implementing proposals is not always as fast as desired, the panel has made a difference, and active involvement by the BCS in this forum, together with other bodies like Intellect, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation and Amicus, has provided an important channel for BCS members' interests to be represented.
Following initial consultations about the proposed points-based system last year, the BCS has participated in consultations about proposals for charging arrangements, the setting up of a migration advisory committee and enforcement principles.
The BCS is arguing, in particular, that because the labour markets in different sectors and occupations are so different, it will be essential to continue the input of expertise into government decision making processess through arrangements like the sector panels.
The BCS has produced two offshoring trend reports, with recommendations for BCS members. It reviews its position on migration and work permits from time to time and contributes to policy discussions.
If you have an opinion on the principles or implementation of the new policy, or any concerns about any aspect of implementation in this area, e-mail your views, after checking whether the point is covered in the White Paper, to Matthew Dixon: MD@iisfairfield.demon.co.uk
You can also e-mail him if you have any questions about how the system works.
Comment on this article: firstname.lastname@example.org