Intra Company Transfers Of Non EU IT Workers Must Be Stopped
john michel cane
A loophole which allows companies to bring non-EU workers into the UK to work without having to advertise jobs in the UK first should be closed as UK unemployment rockets, the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has told the Home Office in a letter.
In its letter to Phil Woolas MP, the Home Office minister responsible for immigration, APSCo said that with unemployment rising, the Government should make companies advertise vacancies in the UK first before being allowed to transfer staff from overseas offices.
According to data obtained by APSCo from the Home Office under the Freedom of Information Act, nearly three times as many non-EU IT workers came to work in the UK last year than during the dot com boom when there was a chronic skills shortage (35,430 in 2008 compared to 12,726 in 2000).
The figures also revealed that 80% of non-EU IT workers (28,344) came to the UK on a specific type of work permit (intra-company transfer) which does not require the sponsoring company to advertise the vacancy in the UK first.
Ann Swain, Chief Executive, APSCo, comments: The Home Office needs to close this loophole as a matter of urgency. The UK labour market has the capacity to fill the vast majority of these vacancies, so companies should be recruiting here first before resorting to importing staff from overseas.
The costs to the UK of unemployment are substantial, so anything that can be done to reduce unemployment needs to be looked at.
The Government s supposedly tougher new immigration system has failed to significantly slow the influx of non-EU workers to the UK. This is because any company which has an office abroad can recruit overseas and simply ship workers across to the UK bypassing most of the checks on immigration.
She adds: Workers coming to the UK on intra-company transfers are supposed to be paid the going market rate for the job, but this is very difficult for the Home Office to enforce, particularly with the volume of workers coming in.
Companies are even allowed to pay these workers offshore in foreign currencies, so intra company transfers are potentially very easy to exploit in order to bring cheap foreign labour into the UK.
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