29 December 2005 The UK is attracting a record number of foreign technology workers, according to figures from the Home Office, raising the possibility of falling IT wages.
The number of work permits being granted in IT has doubled in the last five years, to nearly 22,000. The vast majority of these (85%) are granted to professionals from India.
The Association of Technology Staffing Companies (ATSCo) has warned importing cheap labour from India could damage the IT profession.
“The irony is that while low-skilled IT jobs continue to be shipped to India, highly skilled Indian IT professionals are coming to the UK to take up managerial roles,” said Ann Swain, chief executive of ATSCo.
“The concern is that some organisations may be taking advantage of the visa system to import cheap labour from abroad,” she added.
Such practices could force overall IT wages to drop – and decrease the attractiveness of entering the IT profession, says Swain.
Research from the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, shows the number of students taking IT A-levels has dropped 7.3% from last year.
ATSCo obtained details of work permit allocations under the Freedom of Information Act.