A growing number of UK businesses are looking to talent overseas to overcome a shortage of skilled information technology workers – and India seems to be their favorite destination.
About 22,000 IT workers have entered the UK over the past year, with eighty-five percent of these coming from India. The Association of Technology Staffing Companies (ATSCo) recently released this Home Office figures to the public.
The data, which was released under the Freedom of Information Act, has revealed that the number of work permits that are being given to technology employees have now doubled in the past five years. In 2000, about 12,726 permit applications were accepted.
The figures, the ATSCo claims, is strong evidence that the UK severely lacks local information technology talent. Despite the country’s big need for skilled workers, the number of graduates that are actually entering the IT sector is still critically low.
The report also said that the figures indicate that the development in Britain of so-called “onshore offshoring” – this is where companies recruit workers from low cost markets and then bringing them into Western, first-world economies without appropriately raising their wages.
Company formation and business solutions experts are saying that there is still a lot of IT talent in the UK but they are being underutilised. They expressed the opinion that if UK IT workers do not have the right skills then something should be done to look at investing in training these talents rather than relying on overseas talents.
Meanwhile, the ATSCo said that the skills shortage should not be used by organisations to take advantage of the visa system to import cheap labour from abroad.