The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) believe that the proposal by the Home Office’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) for a points-led system for immigration could result in an influx of non-EU IT graduates into the UK.

Under the MAC recommendations, graduates would be eligible to enter the UK through the intra-company transfer (ICT) system. Such graduates would only be required to have been employed by the company for three months prior to the transfer. There would be no requirement on the sponsoring company to advertise the position in the UK first. Non-graduates will be required to work for the company for at least 12 months before they will be eligible for transfer.

Chief executive of APSCo, Ann Swain, commented: “While the ICT system might not be exploited in the financial and legal sectors, there is evidence that it is being exploited in the IT sector. Nearly six times as many IT workers entered the UK last year on ICTs than workers in the entire financial services and legal sectors combined.”

She continued: “The whole point of ICT is to bring in senior staff with specialist knowledge or expertise not readily available in the UK. Using the system to bring in graduates would be wrong-headed and illogical. While graduate secondments can be a useful way for companies to train staff, these proposals could lead to a significant increase in non-EU IT graduates coming to the UK at a time when there are plenty of UK IT graduates out of work.”

“Most of the non-EU IT workers coming to the UK are working for Indian software companies. India produces enormous numbers of IT graduates every year, so there is a real concern many could head to the UK on intra-company work permits if this proposal is adopted.”

“The irony is that while graduate level IT jobs are being outsources to India it is now being proposed that it should be easier for Indian IT graduates to work in the UK at a time when there are few if any skill shortages at that level.”

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