back to article British jobs for British people: UK tech rejects PM May’s nativist hiring agenda

“If you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what the very word ‘citizenship’ means." So British Prime Minister Theresa May told her party’s conference last week. Home secretary Amber Rudd laid out plans at the conference to make it harder for British employers to hire …

  1. thomas k

    British jobs for British people

    I've seen that movie. P D James book, Clive Owens ...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

    The elephant in the room is that those of us (in IT / everywhere really) who have had below inflation or no pay-rises for many years look at this article and think - I would earn more if the talent pool was reduced - I would be a bigger fish because the pond was smaller.

    Don't get me wrong here - I voted to remain - but if we must remove ourselves from so much free movement of labour, those of us left will earn more as a result.

    The downside however is that we will have to earn more to in order to survive - inflation will stoke-up soon enough.

    I bought my jar of marmite an hour ago just in case...

    1. Richard 81

      Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

      ...plus the employers may just bugger off.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      those of us left will earn more as a result

      Possibly.

      Your unstated assumption is that the number of jobs which need filling will not decrease by a larger amount than the number of people qualified to perform the job and available for hire.

      If, on the other hand, the need in qualified IT staff decreases substantially (e.g. because the UK banks lose their passporting rights after the brexit, or because of the possible economic slowdown due to the loss of the favourable access to the EU markets in the short term), you should expect your earning potential to decrease accordingly.

      Without a detailed socioeconomic analysis and the knowledge of the actual terms under which the brexit will happen (which in turn would require some serious precog capability) it is impossible to tell which trend will prevail.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: those of us left will earn more as a result

        Unfortunately all the multinationals are already relocating across Eastern Europe as the wages & expenses are cheaper. Romania, Hungary etc are huge savings. Whatever we do we have to deal with this. Even if we remained in the EU this would be a problem.

        If they want to stop the tech drain stop or significantly reduce intra company transfer visas. This has been abused for decades and normally results in the work going offshore. They could have done that without Brexit.

        The big problem is tax take unless jobs pay more & we get companies to pay more tax we are going to run out of money to pay for sweeties to bribe voters.

        People seem to present any limitation of movement as binary, We don't want cheap Eastern European waiters & care workers that must mean we won't allow immigration of world beating scientists. We had a points based immigration system before why wouldn't it work now?

        If we respond to reduced freedom of movement by upskilling maybe we will be better off.

        1. Tom Paine Silver badge

          Re: those of us left will earn more as a result

          Unfortunately all the multinationals are already relocating across Eastern Europe as the wages & expenses are cheaper. Romania, Hungary etc are huge savings. Whatever we do we have to deal with this. Even if we remained in the EU this would be a problem.

          Sorry! You are mistaken. If you don't believe me, put together a fake CV showing a couple of years experience with Python, Ruby, Linux, MongoDB, Java, working as a junior analyst in finance. Count how long it takes for your phone to start ringing (and expect the head hunters to be cross-referencing to find your LI profile, Fb,..

          Believe me, this is not how a jobs market works when there is a surplus of supply over demand, as some of us more *ahem* senior commentards will remember from personal experience.

          Multinational firms pick the location of their sites (HQs, ops centres, dev shops,..) according to many criteria; cost of labour is one, certainly, but only one. (I was in CW on June 24th. As one banker said when it was put to her that they would all just move to Frankfurt: "Have you ever tried going out for a night on the town in Frankfurt?")

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: those of us left will earn more as a result

            > As one banker said when it was put to her that they would all just move to Frankfurt: "Have you ever tried going out for a night on the town in Frankfurt?"

            Moving to Berlin then?

            1. Tom Paine Silver badge

              Re: those of us left will earn more as a result

              Banks cluster. For historical reasons, the German fs center is Frankfurt.

              If Citi, JPM, HSBC,.. etc move to Frankfurt, though, I'm pretty sure the nightlife will be a bit livelier in five years' time.

        2. WageSlave

          Re: those of us left will earn more as a result

          Brain drain vs. outsourcing Education?

          How about this for a cynical thought: if we reduce our tech education output (they are more costly to run than yet another Estruscan Pottery / Sociology degree ) but have free movement of both student and labour, then we let other universities / countries fund the education and skim off the brightest to come back into the UK to apply those expensively-acquired skills. Seems like a historical policy that's now badly back-fired !

          If we now block those freedoms of movement & we need to train up internally which means a massive re-investment in STEM from the ground up, which won't yield a sufficient number or quality of grads in just 2 years.

    3. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

      Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

      if we must remove ourselves from so much free movement of labour, those of us left will earn more as a result

      Not necessarily.

      Wages, as with the prices of almost everything, are governed by supply and demand. If the supply is reduced but demand stays the same, the price should rise.

      However, we are unlikely to see demand stay the same. There will be companies who choose to move at least part of their business elsewhere. This reduces demand. There may be people who bring jobs in to the UK, too, but they are unlikely to be in exactly equal numbers, so demand will change.

      Therefore it will be the difference between the change in demand and the change in supply which will determine the change in pay. There is a good chance that there will be a large reduction in demand, so wages actually fall. There is also a good chance that there will be a lower reduction in demand (or even an increase in demand), which could see wages rise.

      But it's definitely incorrect to say that if all the foreigners leave, we will get better pay.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

        >if we must remove ourselves from so much free movement of labour, those of us left will earn more as a result

        But there will still be competition from all those other Brits driving down wages.

        The obvious way to boost IT salaries is to reduce the number of tech graduates. If we close all the science and engineering depts except say Imperial and have a quota of say 20 graduates/year. Then those few graduates will see massive salary rises (although they may have to do a lot of overtime)

        1. Tom Paine Silver badge

          Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

          ...or just make the work environment so riddled with sexism and harassment that no women want to work in the field. Half the supply of labour == double the pay! Right, kids?

      2. Eduard Coli

        Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

        "But it's definitely incorrect to say that if all the foreigners leave, we will get better pay." That is counter-intuitive and history has already shown that it is wrong. Supply and demand still works.

        Before they opened the floodgates to outsourcing and visa abuse IT workers were in high demand and IT jobs were indeed much better paying.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

      There is a fine balance between bigger fish in a small pond or the last big fish in a pond which is drying out.

      What the brown shirts (sorry, they are traditionally white in Britain) want and what GruppenFuhrer Rudd is expressing on their behalf will lead to drying out of the pond by making it so small it will evaporate.

      Eu import as such does not stagnate salaries that much. First of all, there are not that many, second in IT and sciences they are highly educated and specialized, third they can always leave and go back to their countries where IT salaries are now on par with UK and Western Europe while the cost of living is still about half (at least in IT, it is only a matter of time until it happens to science and other engineering). The starting salary in IT in Brno, Bratislava or even Sofia and Bucuresti is actually now on-par if not higher than the starting salary for IT in most of the UK.

      The real salary stagnation in high tech is from out-of-Eu import from countries which do not have anything like the Eu living standard. Even if it was financially feasible for them to leave, that would never get pas a "In-Law" with a plan for "son-in-law development". They got out. It is socially unacceptable for them to come back for anything but an arranged spouse import. So they will do anything it takes to stay (something a lot of companies exploit). They are also imported in quantity on "can I have 20 heads" requisition, not to fill a single particular job spec. Unfortunately, as the Eu people leave, we will have MORE of these, not less.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

        I work in Switzerland, where prices are high, and salaries even higher.

        My team is composed of four Swiss, three Poles, three Russians, one German, one Rumanian, one Serb, and one American.

        The people working at the London office sometimes complain about their salaries, which seem about 20% lower, in a city which is even more expensive than Switzerland. I always tell them we are hiring.

    5. JustNiz

      Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

      >> I voted to remain - but if we must remove ourselves from so much free movement of labour, those of us left will earn more as a result.

      So you voted for the option that would be exactly contrary to the thing you correctly observe needs doing? You do realise that staying in the EU would mean less controls on free movement in future not more right?

      1. Paul Shirley

        Re: The elephant in the room

        This all presupposes it actually becomes as hard for skilled UK workers to head to the EU post brexit as the UK wants to make it for EU workers coming here.

        There's nothing the UK could do to stop the EU offering very low barriers to desirable UK workers, the referendum and it's immigration spin mean the UK could not do the same without going to war with it's voters. Yet another area where the brexiteers have no leverage over the EU and could only threaten their own people to prevent it.

        If that happens, there might well be higher wages for the few that remain here. Might not be many companies left though.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The elephant in the room

          This all presupposes it actually becomes as hard for skilled UK workers to head to the EU post brexit as the UK wants to make it for EU workers coming here.

          That one is easy to fix: just impose exit visas. Another useful approach would be to make student loans (with a suitable early-payment penalty) automatically due in full on the date you take a job abroad. Another option would be to make passport renewals for overseas resident cost a fraction of their income.

          The possibilities are endless if you put your mind to it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The elephant in the room

            > That one is easy to fix

            Out of those, only the first was ever implemented in the USSR. We all know how that ended.

        2. Paul Shirley

          Re: The elephant in the room

          There's nothing the UK could do to stop the EU offering very low barriers to desirable UK workers

          Seen chatter that some German politicians are already floating the idea of brexit refugee citizenships with 0yr residency requirement. The most elite Sunderland car workers might have a future after all.

    6. Lars Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

      I think you could have added a question mark at the end of your title. While I don't know who this James O'Brien is I think he has some very good questions regarding "stagnant wages" here.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgn552kz7rE

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

      > but if we must remove ourselves from so much free movement of labour, those of us left will earn more as a result.

      You made me laugh.

      Oversimplifying things a bit here, but the reason IT jobs (like yours?) exist in the UK in the first place is because it combines two (three) attractive premises:

      1. Ease of access to finance (London)

      2. Ease of access to qualified labour (EU)

      3. (Bonus) English is a dominant world language, making things easier for everyone involved.

      If you remove #2, you will see businesses moving to places like Berlin or Silicon Valley. Capital may follow (it's easier to move capital than people).

      So instead of getting a higher salary for exactly the same job, you're more likely to end up having to pull up stakes and move to Berlin, San Francisco, Prague, or Barcelona.

    8. Aitor 1

      Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

      The trick is making the pool smaller without the companies moving.

      With hard brexit I just see how the companies are moving elsewhere.. hard luck.

      So maybe I will have to move country again.. it seems that every time I buy a house somewhere, that place goes south.. maybe my fault...

    9. ckm5

      Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

      I live in Silly Valley, where we have insane salaries for anyone in tech (eg. interns getting $9k/month) and enormous demand. I'm also responsible for tech hiring in my company and we have an office in the EU (not UK). I'm not sure what upside down world the thread starter lives in, but salaries in tech are def. not going down anywhere we are recruiting.

      They are actually going up in unaffordable ways for small companies like ours. Not just in SV, but also in our EU location. Competition for candidates is fierce, with salaries going up double digit percentages in just the past few years.

      So, my reaction when I here 'my tech job is being outsourced' or 'I haven't gotten a raise in years' is to wonder what that person has done to keep their skills current or why they are stuck in their current position. Because the only jobs I see being outsourced are things like tech support and non-critical operational roles. Critical devops, developer, UX/UI designer/builder and data-centric jobs are in HUGE demand, but you must keep your skills relatively current.

      Everywhere I look and every single statistic I read say there is a huge shortage at every level of tech, so something just doesn't sound right. Yes, I know, the hiring process sucks (it's no better on the inside) but there really is tons of work out there.

      From my point of view, Brexit looks like a disaster all around for any tech company in the UK. The best thing to do would to move to an EU country, like Ireland or the Netherlands, which both have pretty good tech scenes. I also think there will be a massive move of financial firms to the continent if the UK really adopts a hard line. There is literally no reason for these business to stay - another poster pretty much nailed it with the three reason outline.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

        > "I'm not sure what upside down world the thread starter lives in, but salaries in tech are def. not going down anywhere we are recruiting."

        The reporter lives in the UK, which, from what you've said, is somewhere you aren't recruiting. ;) Looking at job adverts over the last 5 years for .NET programmers or DBAs in the rough area near me, the going rate has been around £40k for the entire time (note: banks pay way more, but aren't near me, and I've ingored the silly minium wage DBA posts that pop up ocassionally).

        > "Because the only jobs I see being outsourced are things like tech support and non-critical operational roles. Critical devops, developer, UX/UI designer/builder and data-centric jobs are in HUGE demand, but you must keep your skills relatively current."

        Sorry, but I've seen all development oursourced to large "tech partner"-type companies, who may then do it themselves, or subcontract it to teams based "somewhere cheaper", and ops posts go "to the cloud" as companies go to managed services (or, in globalised companies, the whole department sent overseas).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

          > Looking at job adverts over the last 5 years for .NET programmers or DBAs in the rough area near me, the going rate has been around £40k for the entire time

          .NET? I thought we were talking IT here, not service companies for businesses.

          How much demand do you think there is in Silicon Valley or Berlin for .NET tinkerers?

          As for DBAs, are we talking someone who contributes patches to PostgreSQL or has founded a couple of Elastic Search start-ups, or someone who is entrusted with admin credentials into Oracle or MS SQL Server (or whatever it's called).

          Did you read with the other guy said about keeping your skills up to date?

        2. Tom Paine Silver badge

          Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

          Looking at job adverts over the last 5 years for .NET programmers or DBAs in the rough area near me, the going rate has been around £40k for the entire time

          Well gosh, maybe those aren't such hot skills any more? Maybe the high demand a decade or two back attracted a lot of get-rich-quick timeserver / cert mill types, such that they're now commodity skills, and you might have to go learn something new now?

          I got going in the mid 90s, not long before "HTML programmer" [sic] started to turn up in job ads. Easy money! But it was very obviously the sort of skills that would be taught at secondary school level before long (I thought) so I looked around and decided back-end stuff was more interesting and probably more lucrative. Taught myself Perl, Linux, Apache, very basic MySQL and that kept me going for another five years. And so on and so forth.

      2. Rupert Fiennes Bronze badge

        Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

        Interesting comment: one friend working for a US dot com in London is on an excellent wage. I asked him how he got as much and his reply was that " they can barely believe they can get a decent neteng for less than $250k pa, so I look cheap!".

        I think you're being over optimistic about the EU economy. Outside of Ireland there isn't that much going on in the EU job wise.

        1. Tom Paine Silver badge

          Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

          Depending what your definition of "network engineer" is, that sounds about right to me (CCIE, designing and operating a global network with three or four DCs, a few dozen branch officers, maybe some retail outlets,..)

          If you mean "can set up a Catalyst switch and plug in 32 patch cables", yeah, you're not going to get anything like that.

    10. streaky Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

      Wages aren't stagnated, they're dropping in real terms.

      It's all based on the perpetual lies that firstly there's a skills shortage in the UK (there isn't, there's a shortage of decent jobs at fair pay) and secondly that the UK isn't being asset stripped (it is) and that all of these companies are paying their fair share of tax to cover the supposed skills shortage that apparently exists but in fact doesn't as denoted by have you even seen the fees for university on courses that are in part designed by some of these companies complaining about a skills shortage in he first place. Also FWIW the universities are filled with truckloads of foreign students in the first place.

      All this is circular and the only way I could think to resolve it was to vote to leave the EU because if nothing else we can get a handle on foreign transfers of cash and the taxation thereof which we can't do in the EU - and if we still don't we can find a government that will.

      It's not racist or xenophobic to give a shit about people growing up in the UK who will never see anything but 3 part time jobs to pay off extortionate student fees that they'll never get to use because tech companies obsess about setting up shop, paying no tax and only employing foreign "talent".

      I want to do a part time degree in AI and despite being by UK standards fairly well paid and working in tech as a software engineer - I can't afford to and if certain companies would actually pay non-derogatory levels of tax I could maybe afford to because the fees would be lower and in theory, assuming they're hiring British workers, everybody should benefit. I'm just not holding my breath..

      1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

        "I want to do a part time degree in AI and despite being by UK standards fairly well paid and working in tech as a software engineer - I can't afford to "

        Study in Europe then. I'm doing Data Science at Maastricht, and their AI Masters program is very nice. Taught in English, fees are 2k euro a year.

        Massive demand for interns from the course (roughly two internships offered per student) and if you've already shown to be able to work at a professional level you;ll get a wide range to pick from.

        Get in now, and you can probably finish before the Brexit negotiations finish :)

        1. streaky Silver badge

          Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

          Study in Europe then

          Aside from I shouldn't actually have to and everybody just swapping countries all the time is silly, I actually *like* living in the UK. I want to continue living and working in the UK. My job is in the UK.

          See the problem right?

          one friend working for a US dot com in London is on an excellent wage

          Startups don't count. For many many reasons.

          If you can't get a job in IT today, in London / SE / major conurbations anyway, you're either not trying, or you're not as good as you think you are, or you don't have useful skills

          I already have a job, with decent pay, that I enjoy. It's the rest of the country I worry about, I'm not from London but I had to move here because there's really nothing outside, even in non-tech. There's a whole country of hard working people with necessary skills and everybody can't move/commute to London, the city would collapse under its own weight, apart from the other issues.

          As an aside it really bugs me how poor the UK (and companies within at) are doing at providing something like apprenticeships in tech related fields.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

            > Aside from I shouldn't actually have to and everybody just swapping countries all the time is silly

            ???

            > See the problem right?

            That you / other people can't be arsed?

            > Startups don't count. For many many reasons.

            Such as? Just half a dozen or so reasons should be enough, no need for an exhaustive list.

            > I'm not from London but I had to move here because there's really nothing outside, even in non-tech

            No doubt things will get much better with less access to markets and labour.

            > There's a whole country of hard working people with necessary skills

            Let's be honest, unless your job involves drinking large amounts of tea and gossiping around the kettle... Besides, you don't want hard workers, you want efficient, productive ones.

            > As an aside it really bugs me how poor the UK (and companies within at) are doing at providing something like apprenticeships in tech related fields.

            It's called competitiveness. Apprenticeships go hand in hand with quality education and a grown-up attitude towards work, along with realistic expectations of what, if anything, you will be paid during it. This is not to say there isn't people with the right attitude... they just move to Germany :-)

            1. streaky Silver badge

              Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

              No doubt things will get much better with less access to markets and labour

              Yep. More trade, less mouthy clowns from the EU apparently willing to work for tuppence and less EU-sponsored tax evasion, and they can keep the rest. Germany can have the banks too.

              Oh is that the sound of Deutsche Bank going down in flames and the German government doing the lalalala I'm not listening routine? Okay maybe not so much with the banks.

          2. Law

            Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

            "I already have a job, with decent pay, that I enjoy. It's the rest of the country I worry about, I'm not from London but I had to move here because there's really nothing outside, even in non-tech."

            Plenty of decent jobs here in the north west (of England) - tons going around Manchester, Liverpool, Warrington, etc.

            The main issues I'm facing here are house prices, roads and public transport.

            There are now several companies that will hire you as a work from home dev (with a substantial salary) now if you are good - even big named companies based in the US.

            Whether that'll be the case after 2019, we'll have to wait and see.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

        > "It's all based on the perpetual lies that firstly there's a skills shortage in the UK (there isn't, there's a shortage of decent jobs at fair pay) "

        ^ Very much this. Plus, employers writing poor-quality job adverts (therefore discouraging people from wanting to apply), or expecting all of their staff to come fully-trained, making it rather hard for graduates to get a start (hint: at some point someone has to be trained by someone!).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

          > (hint: at some point someone has to be trained by someone!).

          Might there be a clue there as to an attitude problem?

          It would be unusual for new hires these days not to have a portfolio of open source code that they can link to on their CV (which in part explains why there is so much shit and dead code on Github and the like), showing that a) they had the motivation and intellectual curiosity to solve interesting problems without prompting, b) that they acquired the relevant skills in the course of their studies, and c) that they complemented those skills with their own learning and research.

          I know guys in Austria and Germany who started their own companies before graduating. I also know someone who started his before he even *started* uni (he's a billionaire now, btw). Over in San Francisco, Mssrs Brin and Page did not particularly seem to suffer from a "lack of training" either, to put an example.

          So I'm sorry, but seems the world has turned into a more competitive place since the last time you looked.

        2. Tom Paine Silver badge

          Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

          If you can't get a job in IT today, in London / SE / major conurbations anyway, you're either not trying, or you're not as good as you think you are, or you don't have useful skills. If you pick commodity skills area - something that you can pick up in a five day boot camp course -- so could anyone else, and it follows that they will, competition will be higher and pay lower.

        3. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

          expecting all of their staff to come fully-trained, making it rather hard for graduates to get a start (hint: at some point someone has to be trained by someone!).

          Around 1990 The Git was declared unemployable by an expert in such matters. So, The Git purchased a computer to replace his rather aged typewriter. Wrote magazine articles and a book. And a newspaper column. Started a computer training business. Undertook several training contracts in the local village saving the 2 hours commute to the city. By 1999 he was banking $AU10-14,000 per month. That was the year he made enough money to build his dream home. Winding up the business, he saved ~$AU100,000 by building the house himself, so that was money he didn't have to earn and pay tax on, or borrow and pay interest.

          None of this was offered to The Git. He had to do it himself. Not bad for someone declared "unemployable". By an expert.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

        > It's not racist or xenophobic to give a shit about people growing up in the UK

        Of course not, but I do not see how those proposals actually help anybody, if anything they're terribly counter-productive. What on Earth is their stated aim anyway?

        > I can't afford to and if certain companies would actually pay non-derogatory levels of tax I could maybe afford to because the fees would be lower

        Or you could move to Scotland, Finland, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden, Argentina, Uruguay, or Brazil. Germany is pretty affordable too, at around €600 per year.

        Do note however, that unlike in England, where if you can pay you can play, access to higher education in many of those places is merit-based and the entrance examinations are character-strengthening to say the least. Perhaps not a bad thing for someone who blames their failures on "those tax-dodging companies (that I would actually love to work for if I had the chance)"?

      4. Tom Paine Silver badge

        Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

        You could always, y'know, take advantage of the colossal volume of Free / open degree course material out there and teach yourself on your own time, not the mention a million mailing lists and forums stuff full of people happy to help, -- maybe even (gasp!) spend your own cash on a textbook or two, rather than expecting someone to come along and take responsibility for your life. "Impossible!" Not at all -- I dropped out of my (non-CS) degree course, have absolutely zero formal education in the field, and have a fairly well-paid* job doing infosec in the City. Yes, it's a bugger getting the first job where you're actually paid for skills you can't show evidence for; that's where hard work, initiative, being prepared to get knocked back a bit especially at first, being prepared for a pretty basic income and lifestyle, come in.

        * (you can get some idea by looking at efinancialcareers.com if you care how much)

    11. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

      those of us left will earn more as a result.

      The fallacy here is the same as the "they take our jobs!" argument. You'll only be paid more if demand for your employer's goods or services stays the same. That is, to put it politely, an optimistic assumption.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

        Which does raise a degree of confusion in my uninformed head. Some Leave voters undoubtedly say, and maybe really believe, that we would be better off as a trading nation outside the EU. My confusion is that, in my uninformed way, I have been waiting to hear where these new trade deals are coming from that will let us buy stuff we need more cheaply than we can from within the EU or sell stuff more expensively. Maybe I'm just too ignorant of economics: Simple logic tells me that if countries wanted to sell stuff more cheaply they would already be doing so. And if they wanted to pay more....

        1. streaky Silver badge
          Black Helicopters

          Re: The elephant in the room - stagnant wages because of the free movement of labour

          Maybe I'm just too ignorant of economics: Simple logic tells me that if countries wanted to sell stuff more cheaply they would already be doing so. And if they wanted to pay more....

          FWIW on this, the EU is a customs unions, external tariffs are set by the EU and if the EU takes a disliking to a country the UK does a lot of trade with (or wants to do a lot of trade with) or fails at negotiating low tariff or tariff-free deals with that the UK trades heavily with then the UK gets screwed.

          China is your classic case of both, UK was happily buying solar panels from China trying to get some low carbon infrastructure going. Some German (and I think Spanish) trade groups got all hot under the collar, protested to both the German govt/EU and the EU slapped a huge tariff on Chinese solar panels without much investigation because the Germans didn't feel like being competitive. Ironically the German govt later said they regretted the whole thing because it turned out the Germans were doing the same as the UK and buying from China rather than German suppliers and nothing they could do would get rid of it. Which is circular to another problem with the EU massive inertia/momentum depending on the situation - that's not surprising because the EU is huge and it's member states are very different but that's a problem they've made no attempt to resolve, it's not even clear they recognise it is one. The EU isn't seriously looking at a deal with China and when they do it could easily take 10 years to sort, again because of the sizes of both sides.

          The US is another example of UK trade harmed by the EU. The UK wants a trade deal with the US; it has done for decades. The UK pushed the EU-US deal and it got turned into the 7-headed monster from the deep now known as TTIP. It's not surprising because both sides of the deal are massive - but it's so big and so comprehensive (excessively so) that even before the brexit vote it looked somewhat dead in the water and post that and post-Obama I can't see it surviving. Talk about all your eggs in one basket. It's hard to even tell which side of the Atlantic hates it more so perhaps it should be put out of its misery.

          There's loads of examples of this all over the EU, there was the one where T&L can't import cane sugar from poor states because of a combination of subsidies on sugar beet which we *really* shouldn't be subsidising for a long list of reasons including but not limited to - it's sugar; and the fact that the EU slaps tariffs on those imports because no logical reason; which is not only damaging to the EU via budgets and via health (sugar is far too cheap in Europe which is why you hear about countries looking at adding tax to it all the time which is completely illogical) - but is also damaging to poorer countries that could be doing things like growing sugar to export to richer countries to help make them less dependant on aid.

          I could go on all day with examples that even I know about and I assume what I know isn't even the half of it.

  3. Tom7

    As others have pointed out elsewhere, this is the problem with having a government full of remainers implement brexit. They see the referendum as a xenophobic, isolationist outcome and feel bound to abide by it - when that's not the basis the campaign was fought on and, when asked, not the outcome those voting leave say they wanted (on the whole). So they end up proposing what amounts to a sick caricature of what the leavers actually wanted.

    When UKIP thinks you've gone too far in your immigration policy, you need to sit down and take a long, hard look at yourself.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Tom, whilst it's true that many people of the BRexits voted for more control, and the supposed chance of making more lucrative deals abroad, and honestly had no xenophobic intent, the rest of your post is BOLLOCKS, and you know it.

      The whole circus was taken over by bigots, racists, and those old codgers who still believe "Britannia rules the waves" - so much so, that most of the BRexit people I know keep it quiet, as they are ashamed of what the whole event actually became, and don't want to be associated with the pond scum who swung the vote.

      *Your* intent may have been pure, but that's not how BRexit played out.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        *Your* intent may have been pure, but that's not how BRexit played out.

        It's very difficult to judge how many people answering the question "Should Britain leave the EU?" were actually responding to "Are there too many immigrants?" The way this government is twisting one to mean the other is pure bullshit.

        Claiming that "pond scum swung the vote" is just as closed minded. The racists and little Englanders were always going to vote to leave. The vote was arguably swung by those who's decision was based on the economic possibilities.

        The name calling from both sides is equally divisive and needs to stop.

        1. Tatsky

          Re: *Your* intent may have been pure, but that's not how BRexit played out.

          @sabroni

          I agree that the name calling has to stop. The fact is that there were so many irons thrown into the fire with the leave campaign, that it's incredibly difficult to come to some reasonable conclusion about what the leavers voted for.

          Some I know voted for parliamentary sovereignty at the cost of the economy, which now seems a tad ironic as the PM is actively trying to keep parliament out of it.

          I know some who voted to have control of our own laws, which I think is Ironic as the government want to pass a bill to have all EU mandates written into UK Law.

          I do know some people who voted based on immigration, and to be honest those lot are quite ignorant and ill informed.

          I heard of one guy who from Newcastle who voted to leave to cause problems for Nissan at Sunderland.

          So there is a wide spectrum of leave voter reasons.

          My concern is that Tory HQ seem to have latched firmly on to the Immigration factor, by targeting foreign doctors and students first. This seems absurd to me, as we were told by the leave campaign that "low skilled EU migrants" are driving down wages, but the Government have started with some of the most talented, skilled and highly qualified people in society in Doctors, and the future talent in foreign students.

          As one commented said above "this could be great for home grown techies as our salaries will go up" but my feeling is that by scaring off tech talent, we run the risk of the UK becoming a less attractive place for tech startups and tech companies, resulting in less work for all of us.

          1. Tom Paine Silver badge

            Re: *Your* intent may have been pure, but that's not how BRexit played out.

            it's incredibly difficult to come to some reasonable conclusion about what the leavers voted for.

            Well. Up to a point. I think the issues were pretty comprehensively explored during the campaign. More people chose to believe what I, and most people here, think was a transparent pack of lies, and ignored or severely underestimated the consequences when they were explained to them. If they don't understand modern life, well, that's very sad, but I'm afraid it's also tough shit. We don't get to select an electorate by intelligence or lack of gullibility - that's sort of the point of democracy - and if people chose not to, or are incapable of, understanding pretty straightforward obvious general knowledge level stuff,... well, maybe next time some thought should be given to the pros and cons of not standing up to a thirty year tabloid campaign of xenophobia, hate and lies in the name of cheap votes?

      2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        @Jamie

        The problem that you point out is true, but probably not because of what you have stated.

        Both sides in the referendum campaigned on negative agendas. As a result, the people in the exit camp were campaigning against Europe, rather than for a particular model of Britain's future. It thus became a wide church, covering a range of people who are out-and-out xenophobic, all the way to those who are prepared to live in a global society, just not one controlled by Europe. There really was no one issue other that Europe itself that the voters could agree on.

        And for the campaign that wanted to stay, they really did overplay the fear card, claiming consequences once we had left that are unlikely to pan out to the extreme cases thay envisaged, so much so that many people just didn't believe it.

        As a result of these broad campaigns, we have a situation where even if you just look at the leavers, whatever deal is chosen eventually will upset significant numbers of people. It's unavoidable. There is no way there can be a solution that will satisfy a majority of the UK population.

        The referendum was just not thought out properly, and was framed in a way that, because David Cameron thought he could not lose, did not actually ask what kind of Britain people wanted.

        I would like to have seen a third option of "kick it down the road for a few years". I believe that most people would have voted for that rather than stay in or leave, which would have shown Europe that the UK was not happy with the way things were going, and put them on notice that we really could leave.

        I myself have no problem with working with people from other races, creeds and colours. I have no problem with them living and working here as long as they are doing something that cannot be provided by the local workforce (but please see below about my views on training).

        My view was that I no longer wanted to be shackled to a group of countries that were becoming inward looking and so bureaucratic that it was going to become impossible to achieve any change, while the rest of the world was moving in a different direction. So I voted to leave. I did not want to be part of a United States of Europe, which I believe is the direction it is going.

        I understood that in the short term, there would be economic costs, but my belief is that within 10 years, as long as we don't end up with some membership-lite deal, the UK will pull ahead of Europe.

        Where I do have a problem is with a predilection for businesses to employ people from abroad in preference to training our own young (or even older) people to do the jobs. This not specifically a European issue, but was complicated by free movement within Europe. The lack of training upsets me greatly, as I want to invest in future generations. As I look at it, it should be a no-brainer to make sure we have a adequately trained and experienced native workforce. We have to do this for the sake of our children and children's children.

        1. Aitor 1

          Re: @Jamie

          I have 20 years of experience and two degrees (Computer engineering and Economics and Business Administration).

          Training someone like me is VERY expensive.. so the companies and government of UK, US, etc, prefer to run on "free money" expended by someone else.

          That is the reason I am in the UK.. no cost for them, hire and produce money.

          I could jump ship and go to another country with higher wages.. problem is I like the UK, and wanted to take root here. All this bigotry and xenophobia might force me to decide to rent my house and move to the us (my wife is a US citizen), earn more than double, etc. No need to stay in Germany in the 30s.

          As for the referendum not being well framed.. I disagree. It was framed on purpose as an all or nothing question, to solve a problem the Tories had, not for the nation. It backfired.

        2. Tom Paine Silver badge

          Re: @Jamie

          I have no problem with them living and working here as long as they are doing something that cannot be provided by the local workforce

          Why not?

          To look at it another way -- why pick the nation state as the arbitrary regional border that defines how happy you are to have people working around you? What about the UK regions? Or counties?

          (This is a variation on the counterargument to the ""unaccountable faceless Brussels bureaucrats" point, namely that the same argument could be applied to, say, Gloucestershire being largely controlled by unaccountable, faceless Westminster bureaucrats. And why should we Foresters pay attention to those fancy book-larnin' types at Shire Hall? Let's take back our Borough Council from County control! And so on and so forth.)

          1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

            Re: @Tom Paine

            That is a good point. But the way I rationalise it is by considering the on-going employability of people in the UK.

            All the time that tax, benefits, health and other infrastructure services, education etc. are funded within an 'arbitrary regional border', I believe that pay and skills should also come mainly from within that arbitrary border.

            If it were the case that full movement allowed people at the lower end of the demographic spectrum to get worthwhile jobs in other countries, then it would be great. But what is happening, and will continue to happen, is that people move from poorer countries to richer ones, displacing the lower skilled locals from the workforce because they are prepared to work for lower wages than the locals.

            This occurs in two ways. One is the obvious one where locals just don't find work because it's being done by people who are prepared to work for less. The second, and much more subtle one, is that businesses in the UK don't bother training people from the UK. They just bring them in from abroad, saving themselves all of the costs of training.

            What this leads to is a de-skilling of the local workforce, and perpetuates the situation that businesses can't recruit skills from the local workforce, and then bring even more people in from abroad. It will become a self perpetuating issue, whilst all the time money could well be leached from the UK economy.

            But it is not just the UK that is harmed. If you look at countries like Poland, Hungary and even Ireland, such a large number of their young people who have got skills marketable in richer countries leave that they are starving their own countries of the skills they need!

            I saw a documentary on Ireland that stated some villages effectively don't have any residents between the ages of 18 and 30, because they've all gone somewhere else to find work.

            I would love to see a totally egalitarian world, where the resources of the world are equally shared, but we are so far away from that, with no possibility of ever getting there without some world-changing event, that we cannot afford to consider it.

            It's absolutely pointless having a country with a 'healthy' economy for the shareholders and owners of the companies, if the rest of the population is un-employed, un-employable, or are effectively wage-slaves of the rich.

          2. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: @Jamie

            As a Mancunian I saw the iron heel of London everywhere. Londoners keeping all the big head offices and government departments down South, so that the Old Etonian bosses can send their kids to the Old School, and not be too far away when they go to Oxbridge. Then they whine that London produces most of the income, when in reality it drains most of the income from the UK by holding the pork barrel close.

    2. qwertyuiop

      @Tom I don't think it's as simple as that. The problem is that those who voted to leave had a huge variety of reasons for doing so and are therefore a disparate group. They wanted everything from "soft Brexit" based possibly on the Norwegian or Swiss models through to the hardest possible Brexit severing absolutely every kind of tie with the EU and setting up deals (eventually) with every individual nation in the world. There was also everything in-between. Those of us who voted to say had a pretty consistent view by contrast.

      Given the huge range of views of the Brexiteers how do you possibly negotiate? Which particular constituency do you try to please? Go too soft and you'll alienate the hard liners, go too hard and you'll alienate the soft Bexiteers.

      1. Richard 81

        In which case, it becomes the government's (with the consent of parliament) job to go for a form of Brexit that would be best for the country. Or, if that's not workable then forget the whole thing. The problem seems to be that government are going for the best political solution (for them), rather than the best scocial and economical solution for everyone.

        1. qwertyuiop

          I totally agree. The real problem is that if it turns out that staying in the EU really is the best option* then what government would be brave enough to go back to the electorate with that proposition?

          1. Graham Cobb

            The real problem is that if it turns out that staying in the EU really is the best option* then what government would be brave enough to go back to the electorate with that proposition?

            It is a problem. I had hoped that the government would be planning to do that. After all, with the vote being 12-13 all they needed to do is to make the smallest change necessary to get the least convinced Brexiter in those 25 people to change their vote and it would get majority approval. So, no need of talk of a "hard Brexit" or any substantive changes at all (just changing the name over the door would probably be enough -- just call us associate members or something).

            But the process seems to have been overtaken by (i) personal ambition (Boris) and (ii) internal Conservative party politics (May) and the likelihood of doing whatever is best for the country has gone out of the window.

            1. Tom Paine Silver badge

              The country has voted to -- pardon my French, but it's the only word that fits -- give itself a really good thorough fucking-over. _I_ didn't vote for it either, but now it has, there are clear advantages to going ahead and giving it the rogering it's asked for. Perhaps people will get a little more sceptical about the tabloid hatesheets. Perhaps they'll remember that experts actually DO know what they're talking about, and that's what the word "expert" means. Perhaps in ten years' time or so we'll be back on our knees in Brussels, begging to be allowed to rejoin, with Schengen and the Euro and all that. I happen to think those would be good, beneficial things. OTOH, if we change course, all the xenophobes and Brexiteers will go beserk about being crushed beneath the iron heel of the socialist / facist / whatever heel of Brussels or Berlin. If you've ever seen them in full cry on a Grauniad, Mail or Torygraph comments page you'll know that wouldn't be very pretty at all (and they would actually have a point.) I want the xenophobes and bulgy-eyed ranters to shut up and fuck off, once and for all, and that'll only happen when they've had their faces rubbed in the metaphorical vomit of the consequences of their own insanity.

              (Or perhaps they're right, and the UK will be a workers' paradise by 2020? XD )

              1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Perhaps they'll remember that experts actually DO know what they're talking about, and that's what the word "expert" means

                So Einstein was correct when he said that the power of the atom would never be exploited. Scientific American was correct when it claimed the Wright brothers hadn't flown a heavier-than-air aircraft. Paul Ehrlich was correct when he said in a speech in 1969: “By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people … If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.” In 1885, the US Geological Survey announced that there was “little or no chance” of oil being discovered in California.

                Et Cetera

                1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

                  'Paul Ehrlich was correct when he said in a speech in 1969: “By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people … If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.”'

                  It is unfair to criticise Ehrlich for being a few years out. Brexit will achieve his forecast by 2050 at the latest.

                  1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                    It is unfair to criticise Ehrlich for being a few years out. Brexit will achieve his forecast by 2050 at the latest.

                    Churlish of me even.

                    Here are some more:

                    In 1968, in The Population Bomb he wrote that the battle to feed humanity had been lost and that there would be a major food shortage in the US. “In the 1970s … hundreds of millions are going to starve to death.”

                    In the 1980s most of the world’s important resources would be gone. He forecast that 65 million Americans would die of starvation between 1980-1989 and that by 1999, the US population would decline to 22.6 million. Hint: it currently stands at more than 320 million.

                    He wrote in 1968, “I have yet to meet anyone familiar with the situation who thinks India will be self-sufficient in food by 1971, if ever.” Hint: not only is India self-sufficient in food, it is a net exporter of same.

          2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

            @qwertyuiop

            You clearly don't understand a referendum, do you.

            While this particular referendum on leaving Europe was not actually legally binding, I cannot see any government not implementing it, because it would simply crush any notion of the UK being a democratic country.

            There is no way back. We have to leave. The only way that it could be avoided is by this government calling a general election before invoking article 50, and the election being won by a party explicitly campaigning on not leaving Europe.

            I could see a centrist Labour offshoot campaigning in coalition with the Lib Dems. and possibly the Greens on this agenda, but I don't see that they would win a majority, although they could probably gain the largest share of the vote of all groups. But they would not have the clout to actually form a government able to carry out the policy.

            It is unlikely that the Conservatives campaigning on such an agenda would win (it would show severe hypocrisy) and would split the party, so it would be as much political suicide for the current incumbent as calling the referendum on such a blunt question in the first place was for the former one.

            But Teresa May has said that she won't do this, so it's moot.

            1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

              Re: @Me.

              On second thoughts, add in the SNP to a Remain coalition party in a General Election, and you may get closer to an overall majority, but it would still require a lot of people with disparate ideas campaigning together, and the resultant government would be squabbling amongst themselves about issues other than Europe.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @qwertyuiop

              >There is no way back. We have to leave. The only way that it could be avoided is by this government calling a general election before invoking article 50, and the election being won by a party explicitly campaigning on not leaving Europe.

              Or they could go ahead with the negotiations, bring the economy to its knees, let the country realise that we're truly fucked and put *that* to a referendum. Are you still sure about this? And make voting compulsory this time, which is a pre-req for any proper referendum.

              There are a lot of Brexiteers who have a "fuck the lot of them" attitude and think we'd all be better off without those self-serving European politicians. What we will have instead, as is already happening is a bunch of self-serving politicians who are a little bit closer to home, but couldn't give a shit about anyone other than themselves and their establishment chums. That includes a completely unelected prime minister who is apparently intent on bringing down the country based on a notion of what a minority actually wanted.

              There may be a miracle and the negotiations might prove to be beneficial to Britain. I'd welcome it, and would even vote for it, but I doubt there's going to be any free lunch.

              1. ckm5

                Re: @qwertyuiop

                That's not possible. Once you invoke Article 50, there is no going back.

                1. Paul Shirley

                  Re: @qwertyuiop

                  From the leavers pov it's much worse. There no chance of retaining any opt outs if we do go back. Almost none if brexit is cancelled. The bridge is already burnt, the only way out now is to burn the fuckwits that caused that and accept the uk has already lost a lot.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @qwertyuiop

              > it would simply crush any notion of the UK being a democratic country.

              I thought everyone from Bliar onwards had taken care of that already.

              1. Triggerfish

                Re: @qwertyuiop

                Actually you could possibly stall Brexit by getting the exiters debating what they actually want, there's enough partisanship in that camp that they might never come to an agreement.

            4. Aitor 1

              Re: @qwertyuiop

              Well, there is an absolute majority Tory government with less than 37% of the cast votes.

              And we are having hard brexit ignoring the wishes of almost 50% of the electorate.

              Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting for dinner and the sheep not being dinner...

              So no, the democratic level of the UK can´t be called "great".

              1. PatientOne

                Re: @qwertyuiop

                "And we are having hard brexit ignoring the wishes of almost 50% of the electorate."

                "And we are facing a brexit in response to the expressed wishes of over 50% of the electorate who bothered to vote."

                FTFY.

                As ever, I might not agree with the outcome (or specifically with how the referendum was run) but as over half of those who decided to vote said 'out' then that's the majority vote. Would you have them ignored instead? Have you considered that Nicola Sturgen might be right: That the reason for so many wanting out of the EU is they've become disenfranchised over it? That they can no longer see the point of it? That they see just more beaurocracy and foreign rule and our own politicians, our MEP's, have been inadequate in addressing that?

                "Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting for dinner and the sheep not being dinner"

                No, it's a herd of sheep voting over who gets eaten by a wolf: The wolf wins regardless.

                1. Terry 6 Silver badge

                  Re: @qwertyuiop

                  " bothered to vote."

                  That's the error - or one of them.

                  Anyone who was a "don't know" or couldn't make their minds up strongly enough to take the decision is, in effect, being considered as not actively wanting to remain. There was no option in the referendum for "I'm not sure if I want to remain but I don't actually want to commit us to leave" or words to that effect.

                  It was very much a matter of forced choice or no choice. In effect the voices of an undoubtedly large minority for Leave had greater weight than the majority who didn't vote for changing the status quo.

                  For this reason, most constitutional changes, even for a sports club let alone a group of nations, there usually has to be a threshold. For a strike ballot to be valid there's a proposed 40% of all members. But we are saying that the electorate have spoken because a minority who actively wanted change outvoted the majority who either didn't or weren't sure

                2. Havin_it

                  Re: @qwertyuiop

                  I struggle to believe Nicola Sturgeon said anything so contrary to the narrative on which she's basing her current manoeuvring. Got a source?

          3. PatientOne

            They should have come to the Public *WITH* the options already formulated *BEFORE* the referendum.

            Instead we had the terror clown (tm) circus of FUD (you can fill in your own options as to which clown fits to which politician)

      2. Triggerfish

        @ qwertyuiop

        This is also my impression, I think if you split the brexit vote into how many want full hard brexit; no free trade no movement, how many want delusional brexit; we get free trade and free movement but EU countries do not, how many just do not want Syrians turning up, how many want a soft brexit, how many want a Rupert Murdoch brexit etc, the vote would have been all over the place.

      3. Queasy Rider

        huge variety of reason

        Silly me, I thought the reason people voted to leave was because the P.M promised to quit if they did.

      4. Tom Paine Silver badge

        It's pretty obvious which voters the current gov tactics are designed to appeal to: the ones editing the Mail, Express, Sun, Star, Torygraph and Times. And THEY are pretty red hot on immigration being the biggest deal. Take a look, if you have a strong enough stomach.

    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      when that's not the basis the campaign was fought on and, when asked, not the outcome those voting leave say they wanted (on the whole)

      We probably talk to different people.

      All leavers I have talked to have complained of "They come and eat our benefits" and "They come and take our jobs". I have not heard a single answer different from either one of these.

      As one of my neighbors has noted this is rather idiotic as you cannot do both - it is either, or. You either take the jobs or you take the benefits. You cannot quite take both.

      I have not seen a single European on long term benefits (there is a legend that they exist) and I have yet to see a Brit that would like to wash cars in the freezing cold in the Sainsbury's parking lot or collect potatoes in Lankashire or catch chickens in Norfolk while being subjected to outsourced (to a similarly imported Eastern European henchman) abuse by the gangmaster. If you know of such legendary person, a lot of us would like to see him. He is the stuff of a legend.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I don't know about sainsburys but would you wash cars at Tesco?

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-37499241

        This is exploitation, now about that gangmaster...

      2. Tom Paine Silver badge

        (Small point:

        it is either, or. You either take the jobs or you take the benefits. You cannot quite take both.

        Actually, yes you can. Your search terms are "UK in-work benefits".

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I've had a different array of answers as to why people voted leave, which mostly boil down to the people becomming disenfranchised with the EU thanks to our own MEPs. AKA: They can no longer see the point of the EU. Some also feared being swamped by migrants thanks to the current crisis rather than the regular migrants and immigrants. Some do feel that the large numbers trying to get here through Greece do include radicals.

        "I have not seen a single European on long term benefits (there is a legend that they exist)"

        Oh, they exist. The ones I know to are former Kosovan refugees* who decided to stay. There aren't many, but they were responsible for a lot of bad feelings towards refugees in the area after they refused to go back to Kosova and were being blamed for an increase in crime in the area. Most were on benefits, and some still are (I could even give the addresses of some - they're well known in the community). They are still associated with the illegal work gangs known to operate in parts of the Midlands, although these are slowly being shut down.

        * We had a large community of refugees given shelter around where I live. Most were fine, some even great, but there are always a few who had to go spoil everything. Not even 1%, but those are the ones people remember and taint the very idea of giving shelter to those who need it.

        "I have yet to see a Brit that would like to wash cars in the freezing cold in the Sainsbury's parking lot"

        Maybe not if it's freezing, but I've seen charity car washes take place when it's cold, even when it's raining. Not quite what you're meaning, I know, but I doubt Sainsburies would allow a private firm to offer car washing on their car parks as most have their own car wash attached to the petrol station, so the opportunity is rather restricted.

        " ...or collect potatoes in Lankashire or catch chickens in Norfolk while being subjected to outsourced (to a similarly imported Eastern European henchman) abuse by the gangmaster."

        Which is illegal, and while I don't know about Norfolk or Lancs, there have been gangs operating in the Midlands that import 'cheap' (aka slave) labour from Eastern Europe*. I really don't see why you'd want someone to work like that, if that was what you were suggesting (am hoping it's just ambiguity in how you phrased it).

        * Not only reported in local news, but I've had police call around to check gardens after a crash when illegal immigrant workers fled an RTA at 2am (the van they were in crashed into a lamp post when a worn tire blew). The workers were hiding from the work boss as much as from the police. Near a dozen were found in the end - not all of them - and raids of houses followed that were identifed as locations other such workers were being kept. Was a few years back, true, and a lot has been done to crack down on such operations, but with so many fruit farms relying on cheap migrant labour, it's possible it still happens.

        " If you know of such legendary person, a lot of us would like to see him. He is the stuff of a legend."

        Am really not sure this is true: Someone forced to work under an abusive gangmaster is a victim, not a legend. I wouldn't exect to see anyone - Brit or not - wanting to work under such conditions.

        1. Triggerfish

          @AC

          I worked for a company in an area that did not have great employment rates, we actually had a high paying factory jobs going (high paying due to piece work bonus, it actually made them some of the more attractive wages in the area - which otherwise was mostly farmiland, and tourist hotels) with a stroppy union to protect them as well, we could not get one candidate to apply from the local area, it was a bit depressing really, in the end we had a couple of Romainian guys come over from one of our suppliers abroad and they worked their arse off.

    4. Aitor 1

      Errr no

      A few people really wanted just more control.

      But most people who said this was not about xenophobia are keeping mum about the slurs.

      So yes, the correct interpretation is being done.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cost

    "The competition for skills and qualified staff isn’t just intense – it’s global. Which is one reason why firms are tapping up talent in centres of specialization outside the UK."

    Wrong.

    Firms are looking outside not because of lack of talent but because they can pay less, so are cheaper resource. If India or Romania gets expensive, due to expectation that their salaries should go up, then move elsewhere. Repeat till you are hiring from the worlds least capable, cheapest resource

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      GBP vs EUR

      And pretty soon UK resource should be cheaper that EU ones so if 'Wet Dream Brexit' happens (that's like a hard Brexit with a happy ending) and UK staff can work in Europe but not vice versa then they can undercut the Romanians by exporting Britains worst and dimmest.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cost

      > Firms are looking outside not because of lack of talent but because they can pay less

      Sorry but it doesn't work like that. Many thought it did, tried, and failed.

      As an employer myself, I could pay *a lot* less, but then I wouldn't be able to attract the same sort of talent, the product would be shit, nobody would buy it, and I would go bankrupt.

      Now, if you come to me offering X and asking 50, and someone else is also offering X and asking 30, that's 20 that the company can use for other things, perhaps even creating more jobs. So can you tell me why I should give it to you?

    3. ckm5

      Re: Cost

      Well, I hire people and have P&L responsibility, I can say categorically that your assumption is false, at least in high-tech. We used to have an overseas team in a 'low cost' location. We fired all of them and hired local staff at almost 10x the cost.

      Why? Because the talent we needed was not overseas and the overhead of managing different cultural expectations was killing us. I've seen this over and over again in tech, both in the financial & pure tech sectors.

      If you are trying to actually build something, hiring 'the worlds least capable resource' is a sure fire way of going out of business.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Cost

        We used to have an overseas team in a 'low cost' location.

        That means that your organisation has stopped doing it. It doesn't mean you didn't do it.

        Maybe your bean counters have been taken out the back and taught about medium and long term goals. But too many companies are still on short-term-cut-costs-raise-margins-keep the share price high-get me my bonus thinking.

        1. Paul Shirley

          Re: Cost

          It doesn't mean you didn't do it.

          Sometimes you have to try something to find out it doesn't work. It's just more catastrophic when a country tries something after being stampeded into it by loathsome media magnates, traitorous politicians putting self above country and a pissed off underclass only hearing what they want to hear.

          I will be watching, not taking part.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cost

          @Terry 6

          "But too many companies are still on short-term-cut-costs-raise-margins-keep the share price high-get me my bonus thinking."

          UK public sector .... we are currently doing everything possible to annoy contractors so they leave, to cut short-term costs. Project deliverables and due dates are being completely ignored, as are benefits from projects, just get the headcount down and grab the promotion before anyone realises. It's not just a share price thing, it's a focus on short-term results come what may.

    4. Voland's right hand Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Cost

      Wrong.

      Firms are looking outside not because of lack of talent

      Both.

      Britain educates < 50% of what it presently consumes across the board in high tech. The number differs. It is probably less than 20% in molecular biology and pharmaceutics, going up to about 60% in various engineering disciplines. IT is about middle of the road. At the same time we do have an oversupply of humanitarian graduates of all sorts though and graduates with humanitarian degrees are taking jobs like real estate management, etc which do not need a degree.

      As far as Romanian being cheap, the starting salary for university qualified software developer in Romania and Bulgaria is already higher than in the UK. I would not call that cheap. It is only a matter of time until they have enough positions in other high tech areas (due to companies opening R&D there) to make the current British pharmaceutical and life sciences completely unsustainable.

      1. Paul Shirley

        Re: Cost

        oversupply of humanitarian graduates

        Is the entirely predictably result of using higher education as a way to hide youth unemployment. STEM qualifications are hard work even for clever students, if you're trying to get 50% of youngsters off the unemployment list for a few years there have to be easier courses with little other value to the country to get them there.

        That in the age of fees so many still sign up for so many soft, pointless courses shocks me.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Cost

          That in the age of fees so many still sign up for so many soft, pointless courses shocks me.

          I suspect you'd be even more shocked by the absolute drivel the students undertaking those courses come out with then.

  5. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    This article is a load of leftie rubbish

    Those bloody foriners, nicking our jobsAND benefits(!) , and taking over our towns.

    We are GREAT Britain - all those jobs foriners do could easily be done by our own elite, who - because of foriners - have no choice but to watch, and go on, the Jermy Kyle show.

    You will always see us true brits showing the bulldog spirit - buying all booze and fags from British companies, and buying 60inch plasmas at 5 times the price from Shite-house - damn good honest British '"on tick" - where else could you get a big tele when you can't even afford to properly clothe and feed the kids?

    Those foriners speak funny anyway, and cause all sorts of crime.

    We don't need them They need us. They needed our empire. We tried to domesticate these savages, and they turn around and take advantage of us.

    Next we need to blow up that Frenchie channel tunnel, and then build a wall - a big big wall, and all the foriners will pay for it - that will sort out those rapist scum

    Let's make Britain GREAT Britain again.

    ♩ ♪ ♫ Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves!...♬ ♭ ♯

    1. Arctic fox
      Thumb Up

      @Jamie Jones Re: This article is a load of leftie rubbish

      Were you by any chance being a touch satirical old chap? See icon.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: This article is a load of leftie rubbish

      I don't think we need to blow up the tunnel.

      Just build an extra semi-circular section joining the two tunnels at one end.

      I give you ... The euro-U-bend !

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This article is a load of leftie rubbish

      You forgot about re-enacting Kristallnacht, once the Government have collected (and published) the list of companies employing foriners...

      Being an ex-pat, living and working in the EU - our politician do realize that this works both ways and that British citizens are also working abroad? - I am seriously considering taking on local citizenship here, so that I don't get caught in any retaliatory tactics!

      At the moment, the UK seems to be taking the worst of the US xenophobia from the 30s and 40s and mixing it with a good dose of National Socialist ideals directly out of the Germany from the same period...

      This, combined with the US presidential race, which seems to be coming down to them voting to elect either a machine gun or a hand grenade as president, the world is becoming a pretty scary place.

      Time to sell up and move to an isolated island somewhere.

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: This article is a load of leftie rubbish

        "If you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what the very word ‘citizenship’ means"

        I was giving May the benefit of the doubt right up to that point. I think a lot of people know full well what was meant by "rootless cosmopolitans". May is giving an anti-Semitic dog whistle. It would be almost as bad if she didn't know what the words she used meant, because those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it.

        Citizenship means being a good citizen wherever you live, paying your taxes and playing a part in society. It doesn't say that the place has to be within a certain radius of where you happened to be born. We have the government saying we have to be outward looking and then we have the Prime Minister suggesting that people who are outward looking are inferior - incapable of understanding their responsibilities.

        80th anniversary of the biggest battle of Cable Street and history seems to be repeating itself.

        1. Aitor 1

          Re: This article is a load of leftie rubbish

          Those lines are almost as if taken from mein kampf. And I know because I read the damn book...

          I have no doubt May knows perfectly well what she was saying.

          1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

            Re: This article is a load of leftie rubbish

            Those lines are almost as if taken from mein kampf

            Critique of the so called comspolitan mentality is common across the "Slightly to the right of Atilla The Hun" spectrum. I could have sworn she has picked it up word by word from one of Stalin's speeches ravishing cosmopolitan mentality and praising patriotism. But if you say it is mein kampf, it is mein kampf (for me it sounds like one of his speeches to the graduates of the NKVD academy during the purges - forgot the exact year).

            1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

              Re: Stalin's speeches

              That's right. Stalin made a huge lot of noise against "rootless cosmopolitans". It became a highly derogatory term and an excuse for further repressions. But Stalin's anti-cosmopolitan push happened slightly after WWII, not during the great purge.

              I do remember Hitler ranting about "cosmopolitans" in Mein Kampf, albeit not as extensively as Stalin did in his speeches and books. But I'm reluctant to read through that drivel again to refresh the memory.

              Anyhow. As Voyna i Mor pointed out right in this thread - fights against cosmopolitanism were invariably part of anti-Semitic campaigns. Both Hitler and Stalin seemed to associate cosmopolitans with Jews, and it's far from the only thing these distinguished gentlemen had in common.

        2. Dr Scrum Master

          Re: This article is a load of leftie rubbish

          Citizenship means being a good citizen wherever you live, paying your taxes and playing a part in society

          I'm a foreigner where I live. I pay my taxes (at a higher rate than most locals) and I pay more for state services like schooling and healthcare. My identity card indicates my nationality.

          Do I get to vote? No.

          Can I even donate blood? No, because I come from the land of Mad Cow Disease.

          Can foreigners buy land here? No.

          Are there regulations to restrict the number of low-paid foreigners employed by firms? Yes.

          Has the number of employment passes for low-paid foreigners reduced in response to public discomfort? Yes.

          Is controlling the immigration of low-skilled people into a country normal around the world in order to prevent social upheaval? Yes.

          Is it normally easier for higher skilled people to move between countries? Yes.

      2. Pompous Git Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: This article is a load of leftie rubbish

        Time to sell up and move to an isolated island somewhere.

        Beat you to it :-)

        Mine's the coat with the Map Of Tasmania in the pocket...

      3. 's water music Silver badge

        Re: This article is a load of leftie rubbish

        Time to sell up and move to an isolated island somewhere.

        That is the great thing about Mrs May. There will be no need for us to move.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The UK is not educating people in Tech...

    ...because big business kept outsourcing all those jobs to cheap locations.

    If you want to have UK employees apply, then it's not enough to train them, you have to provide some assurances there WILL be jobs for them in those sectors, with a better guarantee that those jobs will not be replaced overnight.

    The UK workforce are not stupid or technically illiterate - they've decided that if they have to spend £50k on getting a degree to get a job, they are not going to pick a subject where employers treat them like a disposable 'it's just computers' commodity

    1. n0r0imusha

      Re: The UK is not educating people in Tech...

      that is true to some extent BUT that issue still wont be fixed by exiting the EU .

      It will more like will be aggravated by completely outsourcing it as hiring people from abroad will be complicated/expensive/get shamed for it.

      expect offices go empty.

      doom we are all doomed

      / infected mushroom - U R so F***ed /

    2. Novex

      Re: The UK is not educating people in Tech...

      The employers here don't train properly because they're afraid that all that training expense will go to waste when their newly trained employees get head-hunted by the company next door who couldn't be arsed to train and instead let the other 'gimberts' do it.

      It doesn't help that DWP is divorced from the Business Training and Skills department. By keeping those separate, there are a batch of people on the dole (like me) who want to re-train in relevant I.T. skills, but there's absolutely no will in DWP to even take notice of us.

      But, I have to say that all these businesses complaining about Brexit actually happening is a bit ripe. If they'd respected the citizens of this country by not outsourcing all their jobs, and making sure they got paid at least a living wage, then perhaps we* wouldn't have voted to leave the E.U.

      *I voted remain, so that 'we' doesn't technically include me.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: The UK is not educating people in Tech...

        The employers here don't train properly because they're afraid that all that training expense will go to waste when their newly trained employees get head-hunted by the company next door who couldn't be arsed to train and instead let the other 'gimberts' do it.

        'Fraid there is certainly truth behind this. A few decades back when I was at school most of the non-uni kids went into local apprenticeships. Things had already stated to change even then. The firms that did train these kids found they were being poached by other firms that just didn't want to pay. And then the better firms gave up too, because it was wasting them money that the competitors were taking advantage of. The trouble was it became a race to the bottom. Various government schemes have tried to take up the slack, But while I'm no advocate of "small government" this is one area where private enterprise needs to take a grip. If a centralised approach is taken it leads to a corrupt, incompetent pork barrel for training companies that are totally divorced from the needs of the actual employers.

        As to teaching kids "coding" in school. That just misses the point. You needs kids who have the flexibility, interpersonal and thinking skills to become good coders and all the other skilled employees that industry needs; not mechanical code monkeys. And these skills need to come from the industry that specifies them.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: The UK is not educating people in Tech...

        "The employers here don't train properly because they're afraid that all that training expense will go to waste when their newly trained employees get head-hunted by the company next door"

        That's because they see training and paying the going rate for those who've been trained as alternatives, not as complementary.

    3. Paul Hargreaves

      Re: The UK is not educating people in Tech...

      Graduates seem to leave Uni with media degrees and then start work at a company in the sales department is graduate sales / inside sales.

      Amazingly... the companies then train those staff by having them mentored by more senior sales people, and they can typically spend a few years in that pool before migrating into a 'field' sales person.

      Yet, these same companies seem disinterested in doing the same with developers?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The UK is not educating people in Tech...

      ... they've decided that if they have to spend £50k on getting a degree to get a job, ... pick a subject where employers treat them like a disposable ...

      This. And it's not like this wasn't being talked about 10 or even 20 years ago. If you want home-grown talent in the middle and upper layers, you need to provide jobs for the new ones at the bottom layers so they can get in and work their way up. As it is, so much of business has swan the bottom rungs out of the ladder and now complains that there aren't people ready, willing, and capable of climbing it.

      I was lucky to get a good apprenticeship in a very large local engineering firm. That place still does apprenticeships, it never stopped - perhaps being in the defence pork barrel helps. But even allowing for many of those apprentices having left - the firm still gets the benefit as many of them went into smaller firms that (now the big one has downsized and outsourced) provide a lot of services that used to be done in-house.

      I left for various reasons, partly to pursure a business opportunity of my own, and partly with my (then undiagnosed) ASD (Aspergers) I really struggled in the environment they used to have. Annoyingly (as I'm trying to get back, hence posting as AC, in after (a few decades), this large firm keeps complaining that they can't find skilled engineers and need "lots", but when I look they don't seem to have vacancies on their site to match the headline shortages.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: The UK is not educating people in Tech...

        but when I look they don't seem to have vacancies on their site to match the headline shortages

        That means you are approaching the problem incorrectly. Only 5% of jobs are filled via the Positions Vacant ads.* Try reading What Color is my Parachute? (Merkin) and/or Surfing Your Horizons (Australian). Likely there's a British equivalent; I used the latter in ever so many job clubs in the 90s.

        * Confirmed this by having every job club participant list all the jobs they'd had and how they got them.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          @ thumb down The UK is not educating people in Tech...

          Confirmed this by having every job club participant list all the jobs they'd had and how they got them.

          80% of today’s jobs are landed through networking

          New Survey Reveals 85% of All Jobs are Filled Via Networking

        2. tiggity Silver badge

          Re: The UK is not educating people in Tech...

          Given the person mentioned being aspie, then looking for advertise jobs would be their main way of finding them - when the social side of things is phenomenally unpleasant for an individual then all that word of mouth / scratch my back I'll scratch yours method of getting jobs based on social interactions is less likely to be a viable option.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: The UK is not educating people in Tech...

            Given the person mentioned being aspie, then looking for advertise jobs would be their main way of finding them - when the social side of things is phenomenally unpleasant for an individual then all that word of mouth

            I'm an aspie* and nearly all of my friends are aspies. I was a contract computer trainer for a decade and most of the contracts were for 3 or 6 hour sessions. My life consisted of continuous job searching. I never advertised, nor did I respond to advertisements. When 95% of job seekers are applying for 5% of the available jobs you are making the task as difficult for yourself as possible.

            Hint: handing out calling cards** to friends and relatives with your contact details and a precise description of the type of work you seek might be "phenomenally unpleasant" for a very small minority of the population.

            * As an aspie I'd far rather work in isolation, but when needs must I fake being an NT.

            * In the job clubs we printed 10 up on a sheet of ordinary paper and cut them up with scissors. They don't need to be fancy.

        3. SImon Hobson Silver badge

          Re: The UK is not educating people in Tech...

          That means you are approaching the problem incorrectly.

          In this case, no I'm not. I do have some friends "on the inside" and they're all telling me the same thing - the company is actively clamping down on any attempt to bypass HR, with "getting a mate to introduce you to the manager" was a well known to bypass the non-hiring process. For some jobs, but I;m told, none of the ones I'm interested in, there is an option for an employee to recommend someone (for which they get a bounty if that person gets hired).

          The HR system there is clearly designed to prevent them hiring people. It's obvious to both applicants on the outside, and to people on the inside - especially frustrated managers who know that there are netter applicants (via word of mouth) than the handful that HR ever let them consider.

          In one case I've been told about, the majority of applicants actually put forward for consideration were not actually eligible to work on the site due to nationality - now that's taking "broken" to a whole new level !

    5. lglethal Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: The UK is not educating people in Tech...

      "If you want to have UK employees apply, then it's not enough to train them, you have to provide some assurances there WILL be jobs for them in those sectors, with a better guarantee that those jobs will not be replaced overnight."

      I would have agreed with you except that there doesnt seem to be any lack of media and sociology graduates out there. Since most of them end up stocking shelves or selling stuff in retail stores, it cannot be the assurances of jobs in their sector driving them into it...

      No degree guarantees you a job, and if you have the attitude that just because you got a degree you deserve your dream job, then your going to be sadly disappointed, no matter where you are in the world...

      1. Paul Shirley

        Re: No degree guarantees you a job

        ...but the people you meet gaining one often does. You only have to look at government to see the proof.

      2. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: The UK is not educating people in Tech...

        No degree guarantees you a job, and if you have the attitude that just because you got a degree you deserve your dream job, then your going to be sadly disappointed, no matter where you are in the world...

        Very true. When I was running job clubs in the 90s, the only participants who had a problem finding work were university graduates. They refused to believe the techniques that worked could possibly work. They were "too simple". Quite sad really...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The UK is not educating people in Tech...

        "No degree guarantees you a job, and if you have the attitude that just because you got a degree you deserve your dream job, then your going to be sadly disappointed,"

        Had a conversation some weeks ago with someone who is studying "marketing, the most important course you can do" .... apparently far more important than 'boring', 'dull' and 'unimportant' things like sciences or engineering; the professional dancer & dance teachers we both know "wasted their time in a dead-end subject", as had the music student in the room. This from someone who can't change a light bulb, and didn't know where to buy one anyway.

        If a degree guaranteed her a job, it'd be time to start burning degree certificates.

  7. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    I'm agahst!

    The thing that the article completely misses is that employers are not prepared to invest in training their own people or new workers!

    You cannot expect the education, even the further education system to generate the people with knowledge and skills that all companies want. It takes +5 years to get a course up, running, and generating trained graduates. By the time this has happened, the skills required have changed. Windows and .Net a few years ago, Linux and Python now, who-the-hell-knows-what in the future. It's education's job to provide a good fundamental grounding, not fully rounded workers. That comes later as they gain experience.

    It has in the past, and will remain in the future, the case that to get the skills needed, you can go out and fight in the market for a limited resource, or you can invest in apprenticeship and cross training of the people available. Find someone who has aptitude, fresh out of education, and mould them into what you need.

    And you know what. Training UK people keeps the money in the country, and enriches the available skills, and generates jobs for UK residents. It will also continue the UK's reputation for being somewhere to come from abroad to to learn, something that is being increasingly eroded in recent years.

    Businesses have become lazy, inward facing, and too focused on profit. They need to take on some responsibility themselves, instead of wanting to steal doctors, nurses, IT skills and many other things from countries that need to keep them themselves.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't forget us oldsters!

      I agree, I'm aghast too!

      I'd like to add that employers too often seem wedded to the cult of youth.

      As an older person - only mid 40's but these days that seems to mean that I'm on the scrapheap. I can't help wondering that many employers seem biased against us older workers. At school I coded in BASIC, at Uni it was Ada, my first job used Fortran, then there was C++, then C#, python, ruby etc. Oh and java when there was j2se, j2ee and j2me (remember midlets?). I've lost count of the variants of unix or other OSes, of different build tools, code management systems, and scripting languages I've used. Yet myself and my contemporaries struggle to find roles despite good track records, references and broad experience. Perhaps I'm too inflexible ...

      Me, I think most of the employers probably aren't facing a shortage of IT talent - what they are facing are rubbish recruiting teams and their own prejudices.

      1. Mayhem

        Re: Don't forget us oldsters!

        I am firmly in favour of hiring older people for certain roles.

        At a previous company, they basically needed an IT caretaker more than a manager - the systems wouldn't change for another five years, and all the day to day stuff was minor.

        So finding an older person who was happy to keep everything ticking along without any particular ambitions other than keep their kids fed was a great relief. They had enough skills to handle anything, and just wanted a quieter post to eventually retire from.

        Sure, I could have hired someone young and full of fire, but they'd be bored to death in a week and want to move on.

      2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Don't forget us oldsters! @AC

        Sorry, parts of that comment did concentrate too much on young people. I agree that cross training is required as well, but I think that it was covered to a degree by the "training their own people" statement at the beginning of the comment.

        I am in my mid '50s and do face the same problems you do, but I hope that my core skills will remain in demand long enough to see me through to retirement, but I am beginning to wonder.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Don't forget us oldsters! @AC

          @Peter You've nothing to apologise for. My concern/belief is that employers are often prejudiced against us older staff. I don't even get interviews.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Don't forget us oldsters!

        "Me, I think most of the employers probably aren't facing a shortage of IT talent - what they are facing are rubbish recruiting teams and their own prejudices."

        One thing they're looking for, maybe without realising it, is naivety. At your age you've probably been subjected to too many team-building exercises and similar BS. You're not impressed by management any more and too apt to call BS. They want someone who is going to be impressed and that means someone who hasn't been round the block a few times.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Don't forget us oldsters!

          At your age you've probably been subjected to too many team-building exercises and similar BS. You're not impressed by management any more and too apt to call BS.

          Heh, heh... Spent the last three years or so of my working life in the public service. (It was accidental! Honest!). Staff meetings were a nightmare that I alleviated somewhat. Anybody saying "stakeholder" would hear me say: "sausage-holder". Ditto for all the other foolish jargon I couldn't abide.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Don't forget us oldsters!

            The real problem with over 40s is that they don't think it's awesome to pull all-nighters and work weekends because a project is under resourced, poorly planned and has an unrealistic deadline

            20 year olds will do that if you have table football

            1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

              Re: Don't forget us oldsters! @YAAC

              It's funny. I've pulled more all-nighters in the last 6 months than I have in the previous 15 years!

              The reason why I do it is because it needs to be done, and my kids are now grown up so that I can afford the disruption to my life that some of my colleagues who still have younger kids cannot.

              I must admit I am accompanied by a significant number of 20 somethings who have not yet acquired responsibilities outside of work.

              Oh, while I'm waiting for the time for my work, I do origami, not table football!

  8. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    I left in the 70's

    I had a good job, with a company car but I was earning about 2,500 quid a year because of the Great British Wage Freeze ... and my company was hiring people below me at twice my salary. Sure, there's lots of stuff I missed but since my salary in the US at that time was $20k I managed to get by without any problems. I come back for vacations - the currency exchange rate makes it as cheap to visit the UK as many other third world countries.

    I've been watching the Brexit debate with casual interest - I have very little skin in the game these days but I can't see the UK making a success of an economy by building a wall around itself. It's never happened anywhere yet and I don't see it happening in the future.

    I do find it interesting that the same media conglomerates that pushed hard for Brexit and the same people behind Trump. Good Luck with it.

    1. Daedalus Silver badge

      Re: I left in the 70's

      Similar story, 10 years later, can't even be bothered to come back as a tourist these days. UK is crowded, dirty and cold. Better comedians, though. I wonder why.

    2. JustNiz

      Re: I left in the 70's

      > I can't see the UK making a success of an economy by building a wall around itself.

      If that was what is happening then I'd agree, but it isn't.

      Bh leaving the EU, the UK is getting control of itself back from Brussels, and also opening doors to trade with countries that it couldn't before, including the places where the most significant economic growth is actually happening, which are all outside the EU.

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: I left in the 70's

        OK that needs to be called out - WHAT country could you not trade with before? Name me one? If what you meant is you couldnt take advantage of dismissing environmental, health, safety or other EU rules in order to get cheaper products (but which were unhealthy, potentially dangerous, or environmentally unfriendly) then sure fine.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: I left in the 70's

          Absolutely.

          getting control of itself back from Brussels means what really?

          Apart from (I suspect) meaning doing even less to help even-out the burden of rescuing the poor devils escaping Syria and the like, which bits of control do people really want to take back? Health and safety laws - The EU doesn't stop us doing more, or making things better for people, only making them worse. Environmental laws -Ditto. Does anyone remember how the British seaside was pre-EU clean beaches laws?? Yuch! And bear in mind that we are already falling well below the required level for the reduction in roadside vehicle emissions that we are meant to meet, for our own health, while we are still in the EU. What chance that this would improve without them pushing us on it?

          Anyone like to guess who would be better off and who worse off post-Brexit? For a clue, think who those cursed EU laws are protecting most.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I left in the 70's

        @justniz,

        Thanks - needed a Friday afternoon laugh, that's the funniest thing i've heard all week !

  9. Dan 55 Silver badge
    WTF?

    Govt should have this data already

    Don't EU citizens in Britain show their passport/ID card when applying for a NIN? I know the Spanish government knows my nationality. I've been made to go round to the town council to prove I'm still resident here or lose my EU treaty rights.

    Getting employers to do Cruella De Vil's dirty work and using the party conference to turn the nastiness up to 11 only encourages more xenophobia by idiots.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I would be curious...

    .to see how the figures stack up if you take London out of the equation.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: I would be curious...

      The figures are there (just as a quick example). But it would make no sense, because the UK is run as a single economic region, with different areas generating different levels of product. If you split the country out, you will certainly find some areas actually running at a deficit, being propped up by London.

      If you want to go down that route, maybe you should ask what Scotland would look like outside of the UK, now that oil revenues have fallen below their very optimistic budget calculations at the Scottish referendum.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People should be hiring based on skills, not where they were born or whatever.

    For example, if a Frenchman is far more qualified for the job than a Brit, why the fuck wouldn't you hire them?

    1. NinjasFTW

      but if the Frenchman is as good (or close enough) to the Brit but is cheaper then you are going to hire the Frenchman.

      Furthermore if you know there is a steady stream of French that are all prepared to accept lower rates then your subsequent job postings are going to be based on that.

      Lets face it though, most of the debate isn't about the levels of western Europeans in companies. People from similar economies are always going to have similar expectations and therefore more even competition.

      The only way that companies aren't finding skilled labour locally is because they don't want to pay for it. They are used to a cheap, good enough workers and don't want to accept that skilled workers are expensive because they are skilled.

    2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      If they're from a country like France, then fine.

      The problem is that people are being imported from countries so poor that they will accept way below the (previous) market rate for their labour.

      If we could have free movement with the EU as it was in, say, 1990, then that wouldn't remotely be a problem.

      1. qwertyuiop

        ...from countries so poor... - so they're less likely to be from any of the other 27 EU states and more likely to be from ROTW, If that's the case then we already had the ability to control how many came into the country becuase they weren't covered by FOM.

      2. Mayhem

        Ironically though, the 90s was the rise of the Polish. Now the Poles are too expensive, and we get Latvian builders and Romanian coders.

        Give it another 20 years *without expanding the EU* and those countries will be properly developed as well, meaning the free movement situation will resolve itself.

        The real problem ... as it has been *everywhere* ... is the free movement of indentured wage slaves from third world countries in Africa and Asia, who are willing to work for negligible rates. Free movement of People means that people can move to where the work is. Big business in the UK and US hates that. What they want is the ability to bring in cheap employees from anywhere to undercut their rivals, which is a completely different situation.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I would love to see that, Europe well developed... while the UK regresses back to the Victorian period.

          1. ecofeco Silver badge

            I would love to see that, Europe well developed... while the UK regresses back to the Victorian period.

            Unfortunately, you won't have long to wait. GB, the U.S. and Japan are fully embracing Dickensian ideals once again.

    3. JustNiz

      Exactly right, but whats actually happening is that companies are replacing existing skilled employees with foreign ones based entirely on their cheapness and ability to fill a seat, not their skills. Mostly because HR and middle/upper-managers are themselves non-technical do don't have the first clue how to even begin to properly evaluate tech skills, so are taking employment agencies and the applicants own resume at their word. Meanwhile in India, even assuming you are one of the few "graduates" that actually studied at all and didn't just buy your degree certificate from what amounts to a print shop, rampant cheating on degree courses, final exams and outright lying on resumes is the culturally accepted norm rather than the exception.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/03/19/these-indian-parents-climbed-a-school-wall-to-help-their-kids-cheat-on-an-exam/

      http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/rajkot/122-students-paid-Rs-30L-for-fake-degrees/articleshow/52788630.cms

  12. Dave_uk

    These jobs are for "local people" so get your hands off the precious things!

    Sorry - could not resist, as graphic used is from The League of Gentlemen.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The magic has gone

    Too many companies are now locked in to the short term bottom line profits this year thinking and have not had to be interested in training staff. Previous governments could do nothing nor wanted to do anything about 400 million potentially joining the supply to the labour market. Governments have seen no reason for creating an an environment to promote training.

    Although the government should have tax records from hmrc regarding foreign workers, anybody who has an IT infrastructure knows about system auditing. A modern country needs to know what's what, from taxing income through to spending it on roads, schools, police, etc.

    As with the crash of 2008, what is left is the growing reality of a balanced system that can be understood and acted upon for the benefit of all citizens of the United Kingdom.

    1. Jemma Silver badge

      Re: The magic has gone

      "thinking", "companies" and "training" in the same sentence? Wow you've got high hopes...

      I had training written into my contract at one company, who will remain nameless, did I get it? Not a chance, and then to cap it off we got taken over by rednecks and my boss quit and I was constructively dismissed on the basis I hadn't had the training to deal with the new system, you know the training that wasn't that breached my contract of employment in the first place, over and above the sociopathic "contractor" hired as a hatchet man..

      This happened probably 15 years ago now, it's nothing new.

      The employment laws in this country bear about the same relation to reality as Hollyoaks, and since we now have Reichfuhrerin May in charge it'll only get worse. Here, that's a thought, Amazon work camps, oh wait we've got those already..

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear..

    It would be fun if I was able to switch off all that has been installed in UK government by those damn foreigners. I am 100% certain nothing would work.

    They have really *no* idea just how stupid closing the door to foreigners has been, and that particular bit of xenophobia started quite a few years ago when they joined one G Bush in a war - I guess they genuinely had something to hide...

    1. Tatsky

      Re: Oh dear..

      There is a movement for all immigrant workers to down tools and go on strike one day next year.

      It would be good to see that go ahead, just to show how much grinds to a halt.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh dear..

        My job went to India and all I got was this lousy T-shirt. Maybe all people doing outsourced jobs in other countries should strike as well and it will show just how many jobs have been put out of reach of British people. Just because this is the situation at the moment doesn't make it right.

  15. Nick Kew Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Glad to be an old codger ...

    ... who had the opportunity, in my time, to work in other European countries without excessive red tape. Escaped destitution in Blighty twice in my time by moving abroad.

    Shame about the next generation.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    qualifications?!

    British!

    Very good, neeext!

  17. Jemma Silver badge

    Saying it with Flashman...

    Name the biggest born fools who joined parliament in the 20th -century – Gummer, Major, Mellor, Kinnock, Vaz – I knew them all.

    But I still state unhesitatingly that for pure, vacillating stupidity, for superb incompetence to command, for racism beyond the call of duty combined with epic bad judgement – in short, for the true talent for catastrophe – Theresa May stands alone. Others abide our question, but May outshines them all as the greatest political idiot of our own or any other day.

    1. Rupert Fiennes Bronze badge

      Re: Saying it with Flashman...

      Blimey! And she's only been PM for three months!

      More seriously Jemma, you need to get out more :-)

      1. Jemma Silver badge

        Re: Saying it with Flashman...

        You forget she's been home office or whatever they're calling it this week for years, and sociopathic nutcase doesn't even come close.

        In that three months she's managed to:

        Piss off Europe to the point that if WW2 started next week everyone would gang up to invade us, blitzkrieg in the community so to speak..

        Basically flat out told Putin (who makes Suslov & Stalin combined look like fluffy bunnies) that he needn't worry about our nukes.. They can't really reach anything important (the nuking 100,000 comment, the biggest city we can reach is basically the Russian equivalent of Milton Keynes).

        Add to that stirred up more racist feeling than a Turk in Armenia singing "two world wars, one genocide" in an Armenian squaddies bar - and then put the boot into the labour for playing whack-a-jew whilst conveniently forgetting the right club (conservative MPs dedicated to getting shot of Jews in parliament).

        That's not to mention basically making the police invulnerable to prosecution, and enabling all the bigots, rapists and sociopaths thereof to do just what they like without comeback..

        Then there's dumping asylum seekers who had been accepted as kids out when they're 18, when they're still at risk of being murdered AND THEN SLATHERING IT ALL OVER THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA so the murderer can be waiting for his niece off the plane..

        I don't know about you but if it came to a choice between Uncle Adolf and Auntie Theresa, I'd be picking Effendi - he might have been bigot di tutti bigots but he was at least honest about it and was democratically elected. I must have missed the election that put Reichfuhrerin May and the Kinnwenigerprincip into office..

        Note: Hitler espoused the Fuhrerprincip (find someone, suitably racist, who says he can do the job and then interfere in everything until they go nuts), Cameron & May the Kinnwenigerprincip, or chinless principle (find someone who went to Eton, (and had a chin that melds seamlessly with his Adam's apple) and hope fervently no one notices he's clueless, racism being a given of course; provided no one actually refers to the East End as "Bongo-bongo land" in public.. too often)

  18. Rupert Fiennes Bronze badge

    Just as a reality check: here's my experience

    As a UK citizen, I was laid off by a US company mid-year. My experience re finding another job was that there were jobs in the UK (I accepted one out of three offered), and jobs in Australia and the US who were willing to pay relocation. Not much seemed to be going on with regard to continental Europe barring Ireland, which has hordes of US dot coms.

    In the end, restricting immigration to companies willing to pay their requirements reasonable money (which is the case for non-EU immigration now) is hardly going to wreck anything. If someone wants to fill low level jobs, well half of this stuff has gone elsewhere already. I suspect most of this article is desperate wish fulfilment :-(

  19. codejunky Silver badge

    Hmm

    Looks like a golf, sounds like a golf, drives like a golf... or you could just buy a golf (that advert always comes back to me in these kinds of situations).

    People voted Tory because Cameron backed himself in a corner offering a vote on the one thing every gov has attempted to avoid since Blair. This was a shameless effort to stop the rise of UKIP who wanted everyone to be treated the same regardless of where you come from using a points based system as applied in the developed world. Instead people went with the 'safe' option and voted Tory only to regret it as the shameful official pro/anti-EU campaigns gave up on reason and went with FUD.

    So now we have the result which was the 'wrong' answer, aka not the predetermined result demanded, and of course a party of leavers and remainers led by a PM who is being pulled in every direction because she has yet to get on with it. Had we voted UKIP we would more likely be out of the EU and trading with the world by now, the EU probably moving on to their many crisis and less of the uncertainty problems from dragging it on.

  20. Pavlov's obedient mutt

    looking at this UK passport

    and wondering - is it time to jack it in for an EU one. I can't see a scenario where the UK will remain (ha-ha) at the top of IT pile - relevant, stimulating and more crucially, a safe place career wise. Countries like the Netherlands, the Republic of Scotland, etc will all benefit massively simply by NOT being British.

    1. Rupert Fiennes Bronze badge

      Re: looking at this UK passport

      Have you ever seen the growth rates of other EU countries? Or ever noted how the last thirty years have been one long moan from the commenting classes that because we weren't committed to Europe / in the ERM / in the Euro it was all going to go tits up?

      But still we're on top. Funny that :-)

  21. ZanzibarRastapopulous

    Leaving for the US....

    If they'd let us in we'd have already gone.

    1. JustNiz

      Re: Leaving for the US....

      Typical pathetic British whining instead of just getting on and doing it. I already did it 15 years ago. The US bureaucracy is a pain in the butt but its not impossible.

      1. ZanzibarRastapopulous

        Re: Leaving for the US....

        You misunderstand I'm well aware that some people can and those that can like yourself already have.

        The rest of us are just the dregs and the US doesn't want us, quite understandably.

      2. cream wobbly

        Re: Leaving for the US....

        Yep, whinging poms. And when they're here they're always bloody complaining about not being able to get their Maltesers. I belong to a UK expats group, but I'm not an expatriate, I'm an immigrant. ("No you're not!" says my Trump-voting idiot neighbo(u)r, "I wonder what that fucking big stripe of water and those blokes giving it 'sir' were all about then!" says I in response.)

  22. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Flame

    TLDR

    ".....But the fact technology firms in the UK are hiring people born and raised overseas belies a major structure crisis in British training, skills and education, and attitudes to work......" Yes, but not just with the staff, the real rot in attitude has been in senior management over the last thirty years. All too often they view training as a cost rather than an investment. I laugh at modern tech companies that gush about their "training schemes", when you dig a bit deeper you find it's all minor training like "MS Office skills". In the last century we had real employee training, where you would seek to take on a raw recruit and train them how to do the job, develop their skills, almost like old school apprenticeships did in traditional engineering. Nowadays that simply doesn't exist. I have a constant battle with HR and their "praise be to recruiters" attitude, where even the most junior vacancy will insist on years of experience! All this does is keeps the recruiters busy trying to get skilled people to leave one job for another, whilst putting a barrier to entry to those who are capable but don't have experience. This is compounded by the fact that the average recruiter doesn't have the tech knowledge to actually be able to spot a good prospect. Is it any surprise the recruiters are out looking for foreigners that claim they have skills rather than UK grads or school-leavers? And I say claim as I have plenty of experience of "skilled" foreigners turning out to be anything but! Yes, I have recruited some very skilled foreigners, but I have also seen some unskilled British youngsters blossom into highly skilled and valued employees when the time and money was invested in their development.

    1. Rupert Fiennes Bronze badge

      Re: TLDR

      Indeed. And if the "skilled foreigners" turn out to be not quite so skilled, well it's all just too late and how can anyone have checked their references anyway?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: TLDR

        Why shouldn't I hire foreigners?

        I run a startup on the west coast - I have Brits, Russians, Saffas, Germans, Dutch, Israeli, 4 kinds of foreign chinese, Japanese, Indian, Africa, Iranian, Jordanian, 3 former bits of Yugoslavia, Chilean, both the "natural born citizens" are 1st gen Chinese. I just hired our first European-American.

        They all have work permits, visas or citizenship, why should I care which? They all pay tax here, consume stuff here and contribute to the local economy - and most importantly build our business.

        They are all also scientists and engineers and are all paid irrespective of skin color or nationality.

        Why should I prefer people born here?

        If it's purely racial then should I only hire white Americans, only Christians, only Protestants, only the same branch of the church as you or the same eye color ?

  23. ecofeco Silver badge

    Does GB have a problem or not?

    Does GB have a problem with tech jobs of doesn't it?

    From all the reading I've seen here, it does. And the problem is: undercutting local labor with offshore labor, failure to invest in local tech and failure to provide good tech education.

    Or were all those other articles and comments over the last few years merely lies?

    As for the threats to take jobs elsewhere, how is that any different than now? And why does anyone think extortion is acceptable? If, as a business you think you are the only game in town, than please, be gone and let's find out, shall we?

  24. Jeremy Allison

    Reap what you have sown

    Best comment on Brexit:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/commentisfree/2016/jun/24/divided-britain-brexit-money-class-inequality-westminster

    “If you’ve got money, you vote in,” she said, with a bracing certainty. “If you haven’t got money, you vote out.”

    The people who voted Brexit don't care about you and your IT jobs. They voted to *punish* you for not sharing the wealth. I can't blame them. Doesn't really matter if it's your fault or not.

    Trading Places quote from Eddie Murphy:

    "the best way to hurt rich people is by turning them into poor people."

    Looks like that's happening. To everyone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reap what you have sown

      Unfortunately you're right.

      A recent quote from another forum sums it up:

      "This has got be a historical first: a proletarian revolt for less jobs, less rights and more inequality. Only in this demented century could that have happened. To the barricades!"

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Reap what you have sown

        @ Jeremy Allison

        "The people who voted Brexit don't care about you and your IT jobs. They voted to *punish* you for not sharing the wealth. I can't blame them. Doesn't really matter if it's your fault or not."

        @ AC

        "This has got be a historical first: a proletarian revolt for less jobs, less rights and more inequality. Only in this demented century could that have happened. To the barricades!"

        What interests me with these comments is ignoring a chunk of leave voters for the ones who make your case. There are leave voters who did so on the basis of more wealth and improving the economy. Yes some people voted for less jobs, less rights and more inequality both in the remain and leave campaigns. In the end the result is what you make of it and so far it is name calling and looking for any little sign to prove their point (again both sides).

        Why the supposedly outward looking remain voters dont stand with the outward looking leave voters baffles me. Does the desire to be proven right and watch the UK burn make it worth standing with the racists and xenophobes who would also have the same result?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reap what you have sown

      My reaction has been to minimise my wealth sharing with the UK. Vigorous tax avoidance has replaced the relaxed "paying my share" attitude, early retirement suddenly became very appealing and most of my income is being squirreled away in foreign investments. I'm making sure I survive what's coming while the leavers that voted for it suffer.

    3. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Reap what you have sown

      No, it's only happening to those who were not "poor" per se just about keeping their heads above water finance wise - the rich will be unaffected (a bit of financial loss but they will still have plenty of wealth to sustain them).

      There's an awful lot of people in the UK who are only a few paychecks away from financial meltdown

  25. Frank N. Stein

    Foreigners?

    I spend my workdays dealing with outsourced foreign workers who barely speak English and lack technical skills, but have college degrees. What school they went to or that they are foreign, doesn't help when they lack skolls and barely speak English. There is no cost savings in hiring someone who can't do the job, because they get paid less.

    1. Red Bren
      Headmaster

      Re: Foreigners?

      I hate it when foreigners lack skolls and barely speak English...

    2. Lars Silver badge

      Re: Foreigners?

      "outsourced foreign workers", Explain.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Foreigners?

        >"outsourced foreign workers",

        We couldn't afford real foreign workers so we outsourced it to somebody in Gateshead who does the accents

  26. Adelio

    Contract staff

    What i have seen of contract staff, especially offshored or imported from Abroad to the UK is that you may get a lot of cheap manpower, but the quality of the work is far poorer that if it had been done in-house.

    They normally deliver "exactly" what you have asked, Unles you give them a specification that details every last thing that they need to do and you specify exactly how it is to be written then there is no guarantee that you are not going to have to re-write the whole lot.

    Just throwing more bodies at a problem is a wast of time if the poeple doing the work have no buy in to the project and no experience of what you want doing.

    When i have worked with experienced internal staff you can usually ommit a lot of information in specifications because they already know how you work and how the systems do things. IF there is something that they do not understand or something that does not look right then I would expect them to ask questions. Offshore if you spec it wrong, even blatetly wrong they will probably never question it and just code it to spec.

    If you have to specify every dammed thing, and coding can be very complicated (ask any coder) then that type of spec will require at least three to four times as much time to write.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Contract staff

      "They normally deliver "exactly" what you have asked, Unles you give them a specification that details every last thing that they need to do and you specify exactly how it is to be written then there is no guarantee that you are not going to have to re-write the whole lot."

      We have internal, UK, staff who do exactly the same thing. If it's not in the spec they will leave it out, as their management layer does not believe that business users should have an input to specs. By writing to spec only, if things don't work then the spec writer can be blamed.

  27. klaxhu

    disclaimer - romanian here :)

    if by tech you think of pure programming (of which romania tends to have tons abroad and locally) I can reassure you that wages in bucharest/cluj - one of the biggest cities are on par with london slalaries. Yes! you heard right, on par although a typical salary in romania doesn't really go above 300 EUR a month net, a coder earns easy 1-2-3-4k / month net depending on experience. I will let you calculate how much that is in pounds/year before tax so you can compare. also, the cost of living is much much lower there. its a coder's paradise right now there. they can buy an apartment within 2-3 years without any mortgage.

    so no reason for them to come to GB

    the point is - we don't always just pick strawberries or wash cars, there are a lot of us who also code and even earn better there than here

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's all going to end in tears

    In another time, May might have been good for the UK but now she has just inherited a poisoned chalice, which she appears to have realised now as demonstrated by each U turn she makes. Defensive and under pressure, she will increasingly be making decisions that are to her political advantage rather than in the best interests of the country.

    The probability she can steer her way through major issues successfully is near zero. Currently, they are:

    - Inability to define the terms and conditions for leaving the EU without alienating everyone

    - The possibility of losing a legal challenge over Parliament's involvement in departing vs the potential constitutional crisis (ie rule by decree)

    - The probability of having to accept a vote (or votes) by Parliament prior to Article 50 being invoked

    - The continued drop in sterling (how low can it go before the public say enough is enough?)

    - Serious inflation primarily hurting those who voted for Brexit but ultimately affecting everyone

    - A decaying health service and fighting the doctors profession, when those who can will probably leave

    - The increasing prospect of strikes due to relatively poor wage increases

    - The reality that Britain on its own doesn't matter any more on the international stage

    - The outcry as people realise their pensions are becoming worthless and they'll have to work forever

    - Countries that used to respect Britain turning their backs due to the anti immigration rhetoric

    - A Scottish referendum (and a NI one?)

    - No majority in Parliament as her own MPs oppose the Government

    - Infighting between the hard and soft Brexiteers in the Tory party.

    - The possibility that if it all goes pear shaped, Corbyn might offer the only real alternative to voters

    And that's before she has to deal with any international crises, although maybe getting into a war might just offer enough distraction to make all the other issues disappear. Royal perogative and all that :/

    It's bad enough that she is under the mistaken impression that Brexit will be a negotiation... Remember Cameron couldn't getting anything worthwhile when the EU was supportive of the UK.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's all going to end in tears

      Of course it is a lose lose situation.

      That is why no "serious" politician wanted to be part of the disaster they created.

      Me, I just affiliated to the SNP, and no longer have much feeling about the poor who voted us into this. I know many educated and non poor people voted for Brexit, but the poor voted en masse.

      Note: a work colleague explained to me that she was not xenophobic, but voted for brexit, as the uk no longer was the uk with all those people from abroad with different cultures. She does have a degree.... and she explained this to me,a foreigner...

      Anon, as I prefer not to be tracked.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "the fact technology firms in the UK are hiring people born and raised overseas belies a major structure crisis in British training"

    Yes, and it's the BRITISH FIRMS who out and out point blank REFUSE to do that training. EVERY SINGLE JOB ADVERT I see DEMANDS that I already be doing the job they are advertising. HOW THE FUCK do I get XXX years doing YYY unless somebody takes me on WITHOUT that experience so I can get that experience?

    1. Paul Shirley

      There's a clue in your rant. If EVERY ad demands experience, then clearly they're not actually prerequisites and you should do what the rest of us do, apply anyway and demonstrate you can learn any missing skills.

      It filters out the less 'determined' applicants nicely though.

  30. Sirius Lee

    Hopelessly biased article

    Students will choose to go where they think they can get a good education. While British universities ride high in the charts Britain will remain an attractive place to receive an education. Despite the [weak] rhetoric, networking effects play a role that is as important in education as it is in any other form of networking. As we can clearly see, when networking effects are in play, it is really difficult for changes to be made or for disturbances to affect them. For this reason alone, this article is nonsense. If network effect were not at play then as a middling economy dwarfed by the US, China and even Germany, our universities should much further down the league table - but they are not, they are at the top.

    Britain may be coming less welcoming. But that's from an extraordinarily high bar. Beside the US, which countries take in more workers born outside the EU?

    But is it right that Britain is allow to plunder the talent from developing countries. The premise of this article is that it is absolutely right for Britain to welcome, indeed compete for, the brightest foreign minds. If we were talking about physical assets - natural resources, perhaps, or some land - would it be OK for Britain to compete to plunder these assets? Of course not. It would be denounced as imperialism. But plundering the intellectual assets of a country is OK.

  31. Tom Paine Silver badge

    er speech outlined proposals for firms to compile lists of foreign staff and to name and shame employers – proposal that ignited condemnation and criticism.

    Minor point - I understand this wasn't actually in the speech, it was floated by a press officer in the most-speech spin room. (I don't know for sure, because I don't want to sit through Amber Rudd's speech, either.)

  32. klaxhu

    taking something that is cheaper to keep costs low has always been the case. see slaves, see why emperors and kings conquered other worlds - for resources and cheap/free labour.

    The way we pay people today is nothing but that. just modern slavery

    we depend for our cheap coffee to cheap coders on other places where we didn't have to invest our time and money to get them over quick and get them working (bringing us money)

    I came to London some years ago when Romania still needed working permits. it took 6 months to get one and the company had to sponsor me. it was such a pain in the arse even for a multinational with 60.000 employees that they said they will never do it again. we now are looking at exactly that.

    yes, there will be more opportunities for poorer performers to earn more money purely because of process of hiring, but that money will be worth less than your salary is today because of inflation, import taxes, etc

    You have to be really daft to believe a hard Brexit will bring anything good.

    I hope I am wrong

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pynkie

    The employer made catspaw for the government.That's not very nice. Show me your papers, please?

  34. Securitymoose

    No elephants, only skinflints

    Why are the IT employers up in arms? People from parts of the EU are CHEAPER, that's why. You can train British workers to do the jobs, but then, they will probably want a living wage, and that means fewer liquid lunches for these moguls.

    Can't train British workers? Hell, we have outsourced most of our industry to other countries anyway, and they can obviously be trained (with the odd hiccough - see various banks' experience with outsourcing). Apprenticeships for school leavers? I think you'll be surprised at what they can do.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    May's metamorphosis

    She's turned the Nasty party into the Nazi party.

  36. David Pearce

    Most IT jobs are unusual because they can be done anywhere. The only way that restricting foreign workers in IT would raise UK salaries would be if the Government forced local development (China style firewall etc).

    Multinationals won't stand for it

  37. Adrian Tawse

    The real problem

    The problem is not the import of people, it is the export of jobs, mostly to India. If costs in the UK go up even more work will go overseas. We live in an international world, learn to liv e in it.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Your only going to the west coast if you have a visa - H and L visa requirements sit within the same criteria that you are not taking a job from a US citizen. O criteria of exceptional and published in your field is a limited number. Im not suggesting the U.K. proposals are good, just that some illusion of an open door to the Valley is a myth.

  39. cream wobbly

    Expect a brain drain

    What do you mean, "expect a brain drain"? I've already left!

    And it looks increasingly like I won't be back.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The reality with STEM is that you have to be self taught - you don't learn to be a software engineer at school. School programs barely teach you the foundations. University is slightly better, though still extremely elementary. 90% of ability by the people we need is because they picked up a piece of technology and taught themselves how it works. All the people I work with have almost identical stories of getting a screwdriver and taking apart things, installing hacks, endlessly reading and thinking about STEM ideas. In any country that is rare. The idea that we'll be able to staff a tech industry from British schools is beyond naive - it's just right-wing bullshit about darkies coming to take our jobs.

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