Visa plan to help e-work void

The Government is to fast-track visa applications for foreign e-commerce
specialists in an effort to help firms beat a chronic skills shortage in the

New proposals on work permits, due in the spring, are seen as crucial to
maintain the UK’s e-commerce boom.

Firms are struggling to recruit e-commerce skills in the UK jobs market, but
face delays bringing in staff from abroad because of complicated visa rules.

"There is an absolute free-for-all for resources because everyone is
going on-line in every conceivable way," said Clive Jefferys, e-commerce
strategist at recruitment agency e3span.

Under the new plans, which are part of a government consultation paper,
companies will not have to prove they have advertised for staff in the UK

Employers in health, construction, electronic engineering and other sectors
suffering skill shortages are also likely to benefit from the move.

Michaela Burr, head of recruitment at Cap Gemini, called for cooperation
across Europe to ensure staff could work on international projects.
"Although we can get a permit to work in the UK, that person cannot then
work on an project in the rest of Europe," she explained.

The consultation period on the changes to work permit regulations ends at
the end of January.

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