The number of foreign IT professionals that came to work in the UK grew by 14% during 2007, according to information procured by the Association of Technology Staffing Companies (ATSCo).
Over 38,000 work permits for IT roles in the UK were granted to non-EU residents last year, more than double the number issued in 2002.
More than four out of five of those permits were given to Indian citizens. ATSCo believes this influx poses a threat to the long-term viability of the UK’s IT industry. “Our concern is that the British IT workforce is being bypassed and that this is damaging the long-term competitiveness of the UK IT industry,” says Swain.
This was countered by research published a few weeks earlier by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), which predicted that migrant workers would contribute £16 billion to the UK’s IT and telecoms sector by 2012.
Meanwhile, another piece of research revealed that demand for IT staff in the UK is still booming despite widespread economic caution. A survey by IT recruitment specialist Computer People found that 581 new IT jobs were created in the UK in February 2008 – almost twice as many as were created during February 2007.