Global search for workers threatens UK IT graduates

IT graduates face global competition as companies ship in nearly 30,000 workers.

global workforce

The number of international IT workers coming to the UK has raised concerns that local graduates will face difficulty finding jobs.

The IT industry shipped in 29,240 non-EU IT workers last year, double that of all other sectors combined, according to statistics obtained by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) under a Freedom of Information request.

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The international workers are brought to the UK under intracompany transfers, which let a firm bring workers to the UK from their other offices around the world.

Under new plans from the Home Office's Migration Advisory Committee, the system is set to include graduate work - a move criticised by APSCo.

"The whole point of the intracompany transfer scheme is to bring in senior staff with specialist knowledge or expertise not readily available in the UK," APSCo chief executive Ann Swain said in a statement. "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," she added.

There could soon be fewer IT graduates out there, however. Recent A-Level results showed the number of students taking computing and ICT subjects has continued to fall.

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