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

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

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Use local

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

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      @AC Re: Use local

      It depends...

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

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

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

      Tough call.

      1. tip pc Bronze badge

        Re: @AC Use local

        @IMG

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

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

        Pay more and attract more locals into the profession.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @AC Use local

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

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

          1. nsld

            Re: @AC Use local

            The Tier 2 system ios a dogs breakfast.

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

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

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

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

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

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

            1. Nial

              Re: @AC Use local

              "the minimum salary is £30,000"

              This is bin man(/person) salary range.

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

              1. Cuddles Silver badge

                Re: @AC Use local

                ""the minimum salary is £30,000"

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

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

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @AC Use local

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

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

                2. Nial

                  Re: @AC Use local

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

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

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

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

          2. frankk

            Re: @AC Use local

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

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

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

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

          3. Graham Triggs

            Re: @AC Use local

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

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

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

        2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Boffin

          @tip pc Re: @AC Use local

          I don't disagree.

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

          But for the routine stuff that should be sourced local.

          1. frankk

            Re: @tip pc @AC Use local

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

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

        3. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: @AC Use local

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

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

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

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @AC Use local

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

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

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

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Use local

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

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Use local

      Try hiring tech staff, its bloody hard,

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

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

      The problem is lack of available people..

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

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

      1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

        Re: Use local

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

        What salary are you offering and what location, please?

        1. LisaJK

          Re: Use local

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

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

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

          1. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge

            Re: Use local

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

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

      2. Nial

        Re: Use local

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

        Not well enough, obviously.

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

      3. frankk

        Re: Use local

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

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

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

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Use local

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

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

    4. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Use local5

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

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm what could be the cause....

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

    Lack of training for existing staff...Check

    Employers not willing to pay enough...Check.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

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

      and thousands of Jobs going to India ... Check

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

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

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

        "Mine went and is not coming back."

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

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

        1. Tomato42 Silver badge

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

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

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

          (because fuck quality)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

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

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

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

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

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

  3. ExampleOne

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

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

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Eponymous Cowherd

      There are salary floors.

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

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

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

      1. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge
        Unhappy

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

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

      2. LucreLout Silver badge

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

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

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

    4. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Outsourcing

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

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

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

    5. dnicholas Bronze badge

      Nail, meet head

  4. Anonymous Coward
  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

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

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

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

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

      2. Nifty

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

  6. SVV Silver badge

    Priorities

    Dear British Business,

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

    Yours cynically,

    The Conservative Party

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Priorities

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

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

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

      1. Mr Han

        Re: Priorities

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

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

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

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

        or in the words of Confucius:

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

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Priorities

      "Yours cynically, The Conservative Party"

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

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Priorities

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

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

    3. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Priorities

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

      Yours cynically,

      The Conservative Party

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

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

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

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

      Fixed

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        How about we pay teachers a salary that allows them to teach kids to a higher standard because they are of a higher standard themselves?

        Fixed +1

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          How about we take some pride in helping our kids to a better start in life and don't rely on others to enthuse them with the wonders of education?

          Kids want to learn, even the most horrible ones but they need the right subject and the right person to get them going and that starts at home before school begins. Bright kids aren't made in the classroom, they go to the classroom to learn how to burn brighter. You have to light the blue touchpaper on your kid's education and then watch them fly.

        2. LucreLout Silver badge

          How about we pay teachers a salary that allows them to teach kids to a higher standard because they are of a higher standard themselves?

          The problem wiht that is that if we have monkeys because we're paying peanuts, then unless we first fire the monkeys before increasing slaries, then we just have the same monkeys but now they're expensive.

          That folks, is just an economic fact. People do not become more skilled because they are better remunerated, the money follows the upskilling.

        3. frankk

          If you think about it, what do you think is the quality of the school that your average Indian immigrant went to compared to the UK?

          Yet they managed to become skilled enough to be offered a job and visa sponsorship to come to the UK.

          It's not just down to teaching. Some individual/personal responsibility exists as well.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Yet they managed to become skilled enough to be offered a job and visa sponsorship to come to the UK."

            There is a reason that India sits near the bottom of the bribery index. Many such qualifications are worthless.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

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

      While that sounds promising, 50+ years of relying on immigration to fill job roles without any thought for the future consequences doesn't suggest any changes are likely...

      As far as what is likely to be delivered with Brexit, it's getting rid of "uncontrolled immigration" and replacing it with the historical "loosely controlled immigration to address specific needs that can be arbitrarily altered to please the mood of the voters".

      Is there a difference in these approaches? Yes, but I suspect it isn't significant in terms or the number of immigrants that enter the country over 2+ parliamentary terms where the needs or demands of the public are balanced with the needs and demands of business.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    Wait...

    Are you tell me all those people flooding in from North Africa arent Doctors and Engineers?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Wait...

      "Are you tell me all those people flooding in from North Africa arent Doctors and Engineers?"

      Some of them are, but they are not allowed to work unless or until their asylum status is approved. And then they need the money to gain/re-gain recognised qualifications to be allowed to apply for the jobs they are already trained for.

      1. fredj

        Re: Wait...

        I worked in high tech science and visited all sorts of odd parts of the world working with advanced scientific equipment.

        There are Qualifications, qualifications and fake qualifications. Some countries are not even able to teach to the standard of a US/European/Japanese and similar universities. Countries like China and Russia could theoretically train some fabulous scientists but they had little technical experience (1970s). When somebody turns up at the border you just do not know. You don't even know if the company making the job offer is suitably qualified to ask for skilled foreign people or they are just a front for getting friends and family into the UK. It is often of little use asking UK government border staff to make a sound judgment because their scientific nous is abysmal. Science is not their job after all.

        Blocking a high proportion of applicants is a good thing. Only really good people and good UK companies asking for them will persevere.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wait...

      "Are you tell me all those people flooding in from North Africa"

      It's all because of the EU. Once we are out of the EU the UK will solve the problem of immigrants by taking back control if our borders!

      Did you not get the memo?

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Wait...

        taking back control if our borders!

        Hm, ok, but, can you tell me, is the UK in Schengen, then ?

  9. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Well, it's good news...

    ...for the local native IT contractors. Who could do with some. Even if it's only 1k extra spaces...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well, it's good news...

      i think its time to up my rates by 20% !

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well, it's good news...

        "i think its time to up my rates by 20% !"

        You don't need to less immigrants, you need poorly thought out HMRC dictates to government departments over how to treat contractors...

  10. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Er, "could" ?

    She added that rejections “send a damaging message that the UK is not open to the ‘brightest and best’ across the world” and could harm confidence in the UK’s immigration system.

    I think the rest of the world has got the message loud and clear. If you're foreign, and want to have your rights pissed all over whilst governments illegally deport you (and steal your cash) then head on into the UK where you're sure not to be disappointed. If you saw how badly we treat our own citizens, you can be sure that damned Johnny Foreigner is going to get it worse.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is good news isn't it?

    So the cap is working. Good.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why don't they outsource immigration then we wouldn't need a cap?

  13. Eduard Coli

    She added that rejections “send a damaging message that the UK is not open to the ‘brightest and best’ across the world”

    Ms. Main must have copy-pasta this from the guidebook on how to trash your domestic workforce.

    This argument is rather smooth and it has been shown again and again the brightest and best stay home and answer calls from those that get these visas about how to do their job.

    "These figures show the scale of the problem and the urgency to find a solution," said CaSE executive director Sarah Main.

    "Across the country, businesses and public services are being blocked at the last hurdle from recruiting the people they need... This leaves employers frustrated and the public poorly served."

    One wonders how many visa applicants are qualified for Ms. Main's position?

    1. MrXavia

      "One wonders how many visa applicants are qualified for Ms. Main's position?"

      They probably all are more qualified....

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ask the British IT worker how they feel about the cap

    My kids were interested in IT but I steered them away from it. I've worked for 2 companies so far, where my job was 'replaced' by the usual suspects... There certainly isn't a skills shortage for my role, more like a glut, but the visas are approved! Thankfully there are still some companies left that haven't decided to dump on its workforce... It's only a matter of time though.

    The cap should remain, in fact raised. It's only helping corporate greed and leaving the ex employees left with jobs they're over qualified for.

    In general IT, are there that many niche skills that we can't easily send people on a course for, or read a book?

    Perhaps the visa criteria should reject skills that the existing workforce can't readily be trained for.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Call me cynical, but this sounds like a ploy to get cheap labor into the country. Why when we allegedly have some of the best universities in the world can we not train people up ?.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      We have some excellent universities.Also some souped-up Tech colleges that now award degrees in some very odd subjects. And the serious universities close physics departments because no-one wants to study physics.

      So why import people? Because we need them now. Not in 20 years, after we've

      a) reopened the university departments (probably have to staff them with imports)

      b) got the first few undergraduate groups through

      c) Let them gain postgrad degrees

      d) Let them gain some years real-world experience

      15-20 years min?

      1. Nifty

        Won't downvote this one but it's naive. We actually need vocationallly trained people, not more Phds.

      2. HPCJohn

        Funny you should mention physics departments.

        I have a PhD in Physics, and have worked as a physics lecturer at a university.

        But to be honest I won't be in any hurry to come along and lecture in any re-opened department for less that what I earn as an IT contractor in Europe. and that is a very good rate, in addition to tax incentives to skilled foreign workers which I am offered in the Netherlands and Denmark.

        Fixed , low tax rates for skilled staff to attract them to the UK? Pull the other one guvnor, its got bells on. Its all them foreigns havign a laugh innit.

        Seriously - has enyone ever heard of income tax incentives for highly qualified staff from outwith the UK? If our competitors can do it and seem very happy to do so why not the UK?

    2. frankk

      The universities are filled with foreign students. At least the Engineering and Science departments are.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Why when we allegedly have some of the best universities in the world can we not train people up ?"

    We do - and they then go off to work in other EU countries where such talent is apparently appreciated.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      RE: Why .... we not train people up ?"

      Its the market in action. Same for Doctors. We can train people up, it will just take several years and in the meantime the market says pay more, use immigrants or go fuck yourself.

  17. fredj

    I worked in high tech long enough to know that there is a huge variability in educational exam qualifications - even in the UK let alone who knows where. It would be crass to just believe what is written on a visa application form. The NHS have gone some way with this problem by re-examining medical doctors before supporting them. I have come across many personnel staff who try to employ people for tech roles when their own qualifications are totally lacking in the required field. That even goes for managers who have created the vacancy. In many fields key workers know each other and communicate. They know which jobs are not worth having!

  18. Red Bren
    Boffin

    Visas and skills gaps

    For every role that an employer wants to bring in a skilled worker on a visa because of a skills gap, they have to sponsor two local unemployed people through the relevant qualifications and training. At the end of the training period, the visa lapses and the role goes to one of the trained up locals, or the employer can choose to renew the visa, but will now have to sponsor four locals through training. Each visa renewal will incur an exponential burden of training. Eventually, it will have to be cheaper to hire a local candidate then bring someone in on a visa and pay for all the incurred training.

    1. Nifty

      Re: Visas and skills gaps

      On which planet?

    2. MrXavia

      Re: Visas and skills gaps

      You are basically suggesting exploiting visa applicants

      did you forget that they are still humans(well most of them)?

    3. Tomato42 Silver badge

      Re: Visas and skills gaps

      somehow I don't see the trained "locals" working for the same wage as the "imports"

      because empire

  19. Dr Scrum Master

    Singers

    What ho chaps!

    Over here in Singers the locals get frightfully upset when foreign "talent" gets imported to replace local labour. There are plenty of tales of Singaporeans being replaced by people the same nationality as a new manager.

    That's why there's a percentage quota for employment pass holders in each company. Jobs also have to be advertised on a Singaporeans-only job site for a couple of weeks before the processing of employment pass applications will be entertained.

    As a hiring manager I still end up hitting quota limits. It's not as though I'm rejecting locals for positions - I get hardly any applications from local software developers, etc.

    Now, where's my morning G&T?

  20. msknight Silver badge

    They import more than their skills...

    I have personal account of some people brought in on visas, who come from countries where the attitudes are actually far behind our progress. Net result, discrimination in the work place. Exactly the kind of thing we don't need.

    The UK needs to be drawing from its pool of workers across its entire population.

    And that, in a nutshell, is the summation of a letter I've just drafted to my MP, which will be sent tonight.

    I don't care how many down votes I get for this. It's the truth. OK... bury me alive. I've got a social media oxygen tank.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So what you're saying is quotas that are meant to create scarcity and hopefully reduce abuse of the system have stopped 1000 people that were probably incredibly low level grunts from getting visas for jobs where they would barely (if at all) be a net contributor to the UK.. I'm not sure what the problem is guys.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's probably several things going on here:

    1) Employers deliberately not offering the UK going rate for jobs then are able to recruit from the usual places outside of the EU. You think this doesn't happen? I'll bet the usual three letter outsourcers all do this. In fact, one I worked for definitely does.

    2) Having stupid selection criteria where they will only accept certain bits of paper (degrees, vendor certs etc) and refusing to even talk to those with CV's showing experience but no bits of paper.

    3) Having located their business in some far flung corner of the UK to cheapen their outgoings, they cannot find modern skilled IT people from the surrounding area (because why would anyone with the skills to work in the locations where the demand/salary was high live in some rural sh*t hole). Again I know of one HUGE company that suffered this one.

    Unfortunately the whole Brexit episode is caused by that classic conflict of what is good for the capitalists is bad for the proletariat. That's the underlying malaise that caused it. (and I say that as a Remainer!)

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It happened to me!

    I left a position at IBM I had held for 10 years in order to fly to the UK to interview with a business partner 8 years ago. I was offered the position, then told a month later all unused sponsorships had been revoked by the newly elected Tory Government (thanks Mrs May!). Thankfully, I was able to acquire a visa through ancestry, and I've been here over 7 years. There are people in the UK who can do what I do, but not that many.

  24. HPCJohn

    Blanket IR34 - stupid

    A reference was made in a previous comment to IR35. I gather that all Government departments and educational institutes have been told that all new contracts fall under IR35.

    Which is stupid - I saw a very good contract at a UK University but had a lot of second thoughts when they announced it was under IR35.

    The stupid thing that I was then offered some days consultancy with another firm - so I would not have been working for a sole employer anyway.

    How can the justify IR35 when you consult for more than one company or department?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019