back to article UK has rejected over 1,000 skilled IT bod visa applications this year

Thousands of skilled workers – including IT specialists and engineers – have been refused visas this year due to the British government's much-maligned immigration cap. According to figures released today, more than 6,000 Tier 2 (General) visa applications by people who had job offers from companies in the UK were refused …

Anonymous Coward

Use local

Heaven forbid they have to pay for locals, much easier to force wages down by importing cheap labour. Be good to know who has the most blocked applications. TCS?

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Boffin

@AC Re: Use local

It depends...

If the IT role is generic and doesn't require deep skills, absolutely.

However, if its a role that does require deep skills, then you are shooting yourself in the foot.

Of course the person making the decision doesn't know jack about IT or skill levels.

Tough call.

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Re: @AC Use local

@IMG

If the IT role pays more than £159k there is no cap, as it’s worth less maybe the person could work remotely or train a uk/eu citizen to perform the role?

I’m ok with immigration to fill a void but a lot of this is to subdue wages.

Pay more and attract more locals into the profession.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC Use local

"I’m ok with immigration to fill a void but a lot of this is to subdue wages."

I must admit, I was oblivious to companies doing this, until recently when I investigated the IT Security positions in London, its amazing, for my role alone (I'm an IT security engineer) I found roles fell into one of 2 brackets, most offering £65-75k... but the other bracket had similar requirements (X years experience with SIEM, IPS/IDS etc), were offering £35-40k...

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Re: @AC Use local

The Tier 2 system ios a dogs breakfast.

Having run a scheme for an employer its not as simple as importing cheap labour.

The paperwork is onerous, the minimum salary is £30,000 and your job adverts have to pass the relevent labour market tests and approvals before you can sponsor a visa for someone to work for you.

The cost of administering the scheme and passing the home office inspections (which apply to all your employees records, not just the ones with visa's) is significant as well, think of it as 'right to work +++'

We only had 2 or 3 people on visas but the cost increase for the business was about £5,000 per visa per year to meet all the complaince regulations, legal costs etc.

Whilst some companies will abuse the system its actually not that easy to do primarily becuase the home office is so incompetent.

The actual reality, with apparent record levels of employment in the UK and a shortage of skills is that we just binned off 6000 tax payers who have no recourse to public funds and also have to pay an NHS premium along with the knock on effects to the businesses who need the staff just to appease the Gammon faced kippers.

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Boffin

@tip pc Re: @AC Use local

I don't disagree.

My point is that if you can't find a special skill at a senior level... you bring them in on a temp basis.

But for the routine stuff that should be sourced local.

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Re: Use local

Great news. Now they will have to pay local market rates. Which will rise if there is really a skill shortage. Which will in turn cause more people to train in that sector so resolving any skills shortage.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC Use local

"However, if its a role that does require deep skills, then you are shooting yourself in the foot."

I disagree - development of staff through training is a fundamental way of ensuring your staff stay and are happy within their jobs. If there is a role, that requires deep skills, then either recruit from the very busy market (it is quite fluid at the moment) or training up staff.

Outside of AI, certain mechanics there is plenty of UK talent pool.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Use local

Try hiring tech staff, its bloody hard,

I'm looking for two python developers of varying skill levels, and its impossible, there are almost none available, and when we leave the EU, the situation is going to be dire.. if they don't remove the cap, our high tech industry will collapse..

And this is not about paying less, both of the roles I am offering are paying very well!

The problem is lack of available people..

Personally I would change the system to remove the limit for certain friendly nations with the most compatible cultures, such as Canada/Australia/China and leave limits in place (and maybe even add an extra screening step) for countries whose population has less incompatible cultures (I.E. those that practice Genital Mutilation, segregation, enforce dress codes for women, don't allow women to drive ETC..)

Some may consider this racist, but note I am talking culture NOT race, I don't care about race, I care that if you move to our country that you will contribute to our country positively and you wont be mutilating your daughters/sons, forcing them to marry, honour killing...

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Re: @AC Use local

"the minimum salary is £30,000"

This is bin man(/person) salary range.

How anyone can say they can't get experienced people when they're offering this is laughable.

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Re: Use local

> I'm looking for two python developers of varying skill levels, and its impossible

What salary are you offering and what location, please?

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Re: Use local

"And this is not about paying less, both of the roles I am offering are paying very well!"

Not well enough, obviously.

If you pay it, they will come. And if rates go up more people will start doing it.

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Re: @AC Use local

""the minimum salary is £30,000"

This is bin man(/person) salary range."

The median salary in the UK is about £21k (official figures are a few years old, so maybe 22-23 by now). Average household income still hasn't reached £30k. It's all very well to complain that you deserve more money, but the fact is that IT is an incredibly well paid sector compared to most jobs. £30k might be less than an experienced professional wants, but to compare it with low paid menial jobs is just laughable - the vast majority of people in the country can't even dream of ever being paid that much. That said, bin men are admittedly surprisingly well paid; drivers can get as much as £23k, while the actual people picking stuff up get significantly less, down to maybe £13k in some places. There are worse jobs to have, and at least they don't need to worry about competition with tier 2 visas.

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Re: Use local

I 'do' Python, but prefer embedded C and I hate the modern term IT for what I do. I'm an engineer not an IT.

I work almost 100% outside the UK now as UK rates are at best pathetic.

Not surprising for a country that uses the term engineer for washing machine repair technicians, among other relatively unskilled so called engineering jobs!

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Re: Use local

"Not surprising for a country that uses the term engineer for washing machine repair technicians..."

I believe I saw "Sanitation Services Operative" on the back of someone's jacket at a London train station recently. The problem is that they have to come up with ever more elaborate names for jobs in order to attract people to take them. "What's the job?", "Train cleaner." and people will look for something with that has a name with a bit more dignity to it. I'm not saying it's wrong or right or that people should stop being so picky about menial jobs that need doing but when you pay minimum wage you still have to make the job appealing in order to get some poor, desperate bugger to take it and keep doing it.

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Re: @AC Use local

I’m ok with immigration to fill a void but a lot of this is to subdue wages.

It is almost entirely intended to subdue wages. Lawyers don't like the fact that IT is a higher paying profession requiring greater skills and more rapid continuous professional development than their own industry.

They've spent hundred of years entrenching their position with a view to protecting their income, and they deeply resent that IT has surpassed them in terms of relative importance and payscales. And most of the government, regardless of party, is lawyers or heavily influenced by them.

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Re: @AC Use local

I think you will find that the reason why the jobs are like that depends on the size of the company advertising the job.

The Big multinationals are usually the ones offering £65K plus for several reasons. It increases the chances of the person getting a Certificate of Sponsorship, and hence a Visa, and all the companies above a certain size find that they have to pay that much to avoid their employees being too easily poached.

The smaller operations are the ones that tend to offer jobs in the lower brackets, mainly because they can afford less probably.

In any case, a salary of £45K puts you well in the top 15% of UK income earners, so I don't understand what grounds people use when they say "cheap labour".

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Re: @tip pc @AC Use local

Tier 2 visas are time limited, and what's the point of binning someone who costs you a lot of money, and who is evidently worth every penny and who after 3 to 5 years, you can consider them proven?

It makes no business sense no matter how patriotic you want to be. If you were a recruiter, you might sympathise with these businesses. Nobody wants the hassle of visas and all the attendant restrictions when they can find a suitable settled person for the role.

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Re: Use local

The problem with your proposal is that the friendly countries you have listed apart from perhaps China (never saw China listed as compatible with the UK before ) all face a similar problem as the UK and each have pretty streamlined routes for people who have job offers to immigrate.

Canada is unique in that it grants you permanent residency after only about 3 years if you moved in via a skilled job.

I personally flirted briefly with the idea of a move to Canada when emotions were still high after the Brexit vote.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Use local

"I'm looking for two python developers of varying skill levels, and its impossible, there are almost none available"

No problems here recruiting several for our quant team. We offered circa £80K so pretty average rate for a developer in the city. Got loads of CVs.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC Use local

"but to compare it with low paid menial jobs is just laughable"

Tube / train drivers get up to £60K for pushing a button.

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Re: Use local5

Presumably it would save bundles if large computer companies like Microsoft replaced their really expensive management employees with third world talent. Oh, wait a minute..

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Re: @AC Use local

"The median salary in the UK is about £21k (official figures are a few years old, so maybe 22-23 by now)"

The most recent figure I can find with a quick google is that in 2014 the median salary for full time employees was £27,200.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_in_the_United_Kingdom

Again, it makes the argument that you can't get experienced IT people when you're offering £30K laughable.

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Re: @AC Use local

There are two ways of looking at it - you could view it as importing labour to subdue wages. Or, where there is a "local" skills shortage, that is artificially inflating wages. Which is good for the individual employee, but may not be so good for their colleagues.

For ROW immigration, you not only have skills requirements, but minimum salaries set on a sector / role basis. So as long as we are talking about VISA supported immigration, it can only "subdue" wages to the degree that the government has set.

If the role can be done remotely, then you don't use immigration to subdue wages - you outsource the position.

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Hmm what could be the cause....

Europeans worried about their future moving out...Check.

Lack of training for existing staff...Check

Employers not willing to pay enough...Check.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmm what could be the cause....

and thousands of Jobs going to India ... Check

Mine went and is not coming back. Just like the Cotton and Wollen mills from the north. Pretty well gone forever. IT in the UK is in its deaththrows. Get used to it people. If you don't already work for one of the Indian Sweatshops, you soon will.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmm what could be the cause....

"and thousands of Jobs going to India ... Check"

"Mine went and is not coming back."

I wouldn't be so sure... My job went to India, it took 2 people to half fill my shoes, and they still screwed up within a week of taking over...

I would never allow any outsourcing in a company I am still at, I would leave if it was suggested...

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Re: Hmm what could be the cause....

> My job went to India, it took 2 people to half fill my shoes,

and they did cost a tenth of your wage, that's a win! /s

(because fuck quality)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmm what could be the cause....

"If you don't already work for one of the Indian Sweatshops, you soon will."

It's not the Indian lads you have to worry about now, they've all cottoned on to the fact that were fleecing them with minimum wages for remote jobs. They've learned all the skills and they're back with services being sold back to us at premium rates.

The ones you need to worry about are the ex-East European lads and lasses, a lot of service management companies based in places like Romania. They ship staff across Europe on short term ( 3 month ) contracts to replace your in-house service desk teams, they rotate the people they "sell you" quite often and from my experience, the guys they send over are pretty smart and on the ball.

With the rise of cloud services there's no need for development outsourcing to involve moving anyone, simply all hook into AWS, Google of Azure from wherever you are in the world and you're golden, you get to buy in the best you can afford without having to worry about Visas and work permits. Ship out the specs, conference calls and your shiny new app will be delivered from a team of far off European developers at half the cost. If we don't start doing the same in IT here in the UK, ie selling out knowledge remotely, there will be no UK IT industry in a decade.

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Why have caps? Why not just have salary floors for VISA workers?

Are UK companies struggling to find IT talent, or are they struggling to find experienced IT talent willing to take the pathetic salary and conditions on offer?

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Anonymous Coward

Is the pathetic salary based on the fact that the businesses cannot afford the higher and deserved salary, or is this just corporate greed ???

Maybe this aspect needs to be studied - although, i expect businesses to hide the truth why they need to employ from outside the UK if it shows them to be greedy.

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There are salary floors.

These are workers who meet the salary requirements but are unlucky enough to lose the numbers lottery.

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Anonymous Coward

Why would young people want to train for a field that they can be quite sure that the entire field will be outsourced well before they can retire from that line of work, let alone a particular company?

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Outsourcing

Are UK companies struggling to find IT talent, or are they struggling to find experienced IT talent willing to take the pathetic salary and conditions on offer?

A bit of both, and depends on the UK company. So outsourcing. It only makes sense* assuming it'll cost you less or gain you more than doing it in-house. Companies bidding for those contracts will try very hard to demonstrate cash and efficiency savings. Then, assuming they win those bids, they have to deliver. And make a profit for the outsourcer, which means ruthlessly cutting costs, or sweating assets. Or their human resources. Bottom line being they may replace an experienced IT person who knows all the cracks hidden under the customer's paper with a bootcamp grad. Who then finds out that how things really work isn't how they were documented. If they're lucky and there is documentation. Service levels decline, staff get unhappy, but customer's now locked into a 3-5yr+ contract and getting bored of hearing reassuring noises from their service and account managers.

*It's something that generally makes sense to finance people, who view IT as a cost centre, and only to the execs once problems arise.. who then sometimes come around to the idea that their business depends on IT.

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Nail, meet head

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Unhappy

"Why would young people want to train for a field that they can be quite sure that the entire field will be outsourced well before they can retire from that line of work, let alone a particular company?"

30 years working in IT myself and the first thing I told my daughter as she started to look at her job prospects prior to starting her GCSEs, "My love, keep the hell away from IT 'cos although I love it, you will be entering a dead end career.". Told her to find study honest core subjects ( maths, English, history at least one European language ) study them all hard and hang on 'cos the way your working life will go you will have to change careers probably twice if not more times before you see anything like retirement age.

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Why would young people want to train for a field that they can be quite sure that the entire field will be outsourced well before they can retire from that line of work, let alone a particular company?

Its not just young people it affects. I have 15, maybe 20 year max before reitrement (depending on political buggering), and I'm far from certain that there will be enough work long enough. Coupled with rampant agesims, its not an attractive mix.

Of particular issue is that millennials thinking about going into coding can see their parents falling victim to ageism, offshoring, and visa imports, so they have a full knkowledge of how long they can expects a career to last. Or, you know, just do something else instead.

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Anonymous Coward

wtf

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Anonymous Coward

What baffles me is that IT professionals would be eager to move to the UK for the kind of salaries you get compared to the price of living there.

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Anonymous Coward

"What baffles me is that IT professionals would be eager to move to the UK for the kind of salaries you get compared to the price of living there."

Both India and Australia have indicated that any post-Brexit trade deal will also require freer access to the UK job market for their nationals - especially in professional roles.

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Anonymous Coward

'Both India and Australia have indicated that any post-Brexit trade deal will also require freer access to the UK job market for their nationals - especially in professional roles.'

Shhhhhhh! No one is meant to talk about that until after Brexit has fully occurred .

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And us to (finally) have freeer access to theirs?

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SVV
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Priorities

Dear British Business,

Sorry you can't recruit the people you need, but our aspiration to make Britain an economically successful global centre of technology and innovation is much less important than the need to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands in order to pander to our voters who don't like foreigners coming here,

Yours cynically,

The Conservative Party

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Re: Priorities

It is entirely true. Even the government can't recruit the people it needs.

Fury as NHS recruits 100 doctors from India only for Home Office to deny them all visas

Can the people who downvoted the post above face the fact that the UK will not turn into Switzerland, all that's going to happen is the economy is going to stagnate and any training that will take place will be too little and too late. The only time the UK has ever been a high wage economy was when the bubonic plague wiped out a third of the population.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Priorities

"Yours cynically, The Conservative Party"

Tory minister Priti Patel campaigned for the Leave campaign with the explicit promise to increase immigration from the Indian subcontinent. Her reckoning is that there is an historical Empire justification for that.

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Re: Priorities

As I write, the votes for the 2 posts above mine stand at 50/50 up/down votes. We really are a divided nation, aren't we? With one half thinking the other half are a bunch of fools :)

Perhaps it's the Dunning-Kruger effect at play.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10626367

“Unskilled and unaware of it: how difficulties in recognizing one's own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments.”

or in the words of Confucius:

"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance"

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Re: Priorities

Lots of people in the Leave camp campaigned for lots of things, and some of them were written on the side of a big red bus.

She's out of her job now. The Home Office aren't and doesn't seem very keen on throwing open the doors to the Commonwealth, or even letting those who have been in the UK practically all their lives staying.

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Re: Priorities

Sorry you can't recruit the people you need, but our aspiration to make Britain an economically successful global centre of technology and innovation is much less important than the need to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands in order to pander to our voters who don't like foreigners coming here,

Yours cynically,

The Conservative Party

And yet many, maybe even most, leavers were labour voters. You can see that in the boost labour got when ukip collapsed. Most of the "gammon faced kippers" were actually lefty snowflakes before the referendum got going.

The north voted massively in favour of leaving, yet is mostly red or dead in terms of MPs. Thus, immigration is not a Conservative problem specifically, but it is a real issue for labour. Their london champagne socialists love it, but their unionised Northern muscle and power base hate it.

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Anonymous Coward

How about we educate our children to a standard that we don't need to bring people in to fill the gaps?

Use immigration when it really is filling a gap but until we have a top class education system I see this as a way to lower wages, having said that these caps help no one.

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Anonymous Coward

How about we educate our teachers to a standard that we don't need to bring people in to fill the gaps?

Fixed

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