UK sees huge influx of IT workers from developing countries

IT workers from developing nations are coming to the UK in numbers second only to nurses, Home Office figures show.

As many as 22,000 foreign IT workers were issued with work permits for the UK last year, of whom 85% were from India.

The Association of Technology Staffing Companies (ATSCo), which extracted the figures from the Home Office with a Freedom of Information request, cited the figures as evidence of UK’s shortage of home-grown talent.

Ann Swain, ATSCo’s chief executive, said: “Skills shortages continue to be a major pull factor in bringing foreign IT workers to the UK, but the concern is that some organisations may be taking advantage of the visa system to import cheap labour from abroad.”

The total cost of employing a worker in India, including the cost of benefits, can be between a fifth and a 10th of the cost of employing somebody doing the same work in the UK.

Swain called on UK employers to invest more in training underutilised professionals from the UK rather than rely on overseas skills.

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