Monday 22 November 2010

Cutting immigration nonsense from the City

I am fully behind the Government's plan to cut the numbers of Non-EU immigration work visa's. My two pennies is from seeing how this works in practice. So much is written about the desperate need for IT skills of which the UK has so little.

However, this is not what I have seen in the real world. In the real world there are people in the UK who want one wage, and typically less experienced and capable, but much cheaper people from South Asia. What consultants like Oracle, HP and other firms want to do is import more of this more cost efficient labour into their supply chain to lower their costs; and why not for them, it works just fine.

For UK workers though this is less beneficial, skills are lost and although it may be fair to argue that the UK workers are demanding too high wages, you often can't compare in terms of experience and capability.

Therefore there is a lot more to this argument than the sort of trite pumped our by the City about the issue being low wage replacement being misguided. This is on the money in terms of policy, allowing the UK time to adjust. India and others are going to grow anyway, no need to actively destroy our own industries along the way.


hovis said...

I completely agree with CU, most outsourced is done to cut cost, no matter whether it actually works (most of the time not), but that doesnt show up on the management reports. I'l be kind and also say that technicaly very good, there is s distinct lack of interpretation of real world use of the final product. Abstract rather than literal thought is at a premium...

Electro-Kevin said...

None of this mentions the fact that our health and benefits system are also open to all and sundry - with the taxpayer footing the bill. Both government and corporations are in cahoots in shafting the British people.

One must always look at the entire picture. And the entire picture shows clearly that this will not end until the average Brit is as piss poor as the average Chindian.

Laban said...

The long term implications are that there is no longer a career path in IT. All the 'grunt' coding jobs that we all went through as part of the process of becoming expert are now done by ICT staff. You get one or two experienced Brit IT guys overseeing half a dozen ICT coders and testers.

From a business perspective, this can work OK in the short term. But to become experts, those experienced guys once paid their dues as developers. Where will the next generation of experts come from? It won't be the UK, that's for sure.

When I started in IT, on any training course there'd be a few former maths or science teachers who'd switched careers. All the traffic now is in the opposite direction.

James Higham said...

Tripe? Or trite?

Anonymous said...

Laban - pretty much spot on except that often the coders are located in India.
I.T companies are good at moaning about a so-called skills shortage but are noticably unwilling to invest in re-training their UK staff (I don't know a single
colleague who has been sent on a proper training course in years).
The situation suits the big firms down to ground giving them an excuse to either offshore development/support or import disposable labour in 2 year slices while the consequences for UK I.T staff left with ageing skillsets are obvious.
A friend's son recently asked me for advice about starting a career in I.T
I told him not to bother.

Marchamont said...

You've called it right.

When I recruit IT staff, I get two kinds of applicants:

1. Highly skilled East Asians

2. Recent graduates with degrees in computing wjo are either unemployed or living hand-to-mouth on low quality short term work.

Both want the same sort of money.

There is no shortage - and what we're doing to our young people is shameful.

Anonymous said...


do the 'highly skilled' Asians want more or less money than our own graduates?


Marchamont said...

Both groups want about the same.

Anonymous said...

It won't be a problem by next year. British banks have to roll over 250 billion pounds worth of bonds, plus the government has to borrow about 150 billion. Which means British salaries will soon be lower than Indian one, plus a lot of immigrants will move on to other countries.
Horrible thought, but all too true.

Anonymous said...

It's certainly outrageous that on public sector IT, the Govt. happily hands over £Ms to the 'usual suspects' to roll in countless chaps from India and the like. All the while, expensively educated IT graduates from British universities and flipping burgers in McJobs.

It's all too likely that now the Indian's know you to run IT in NHS, DWP, DSS, CJS, etc. the next step is to off-shore it all, and do away with Indians coming over for 2 years.

It makes of mockery of talk about innovation, job creation, silicon-roundabout etc. when you have to be absolutely mad to consider a career in IT.

Like many peeps, I'm exploiting an ever smaller pool of jobs that are only open to British Nationals and need the experience of 10 years in consulting.

Steven_L said...

But if UK workers could rent cheaper housing they wouldn't need such high wages would they?

The foreign imports are happy to live like rats.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if potential employers of imported short term labour had to pay an additional tax to cover the cost of JSA / other benefits their policy has had on UK residents things may change.
Just the same with foreign ownership of many of our companies, when the going gets tough they never cut on their own front turf, and the UK taxpayer has to pick up the tab for their 'cost savings'.

Budgie said...

It's the same for engineering. The employers bleat about a lack of engineers.

Yet under Labour a million jobs were lost (that is gone) in manufacturing. So there are a million people who are potentially available for other manufacturing roles unless they have retired.

Engineering has been shrinking in the UK for at least 50 years so there has always been a surplus of people at any given level, if employers were really serious.

Anonymous said...

"But if UK workers could rent cheaper housing they wouldn't need such high wages would they?"

Yeah, that as mentioned in a post by Laban some time ago, is a large part of the problem.
Mass immigration creates a housing and services shortage which then leads to higher rents and mortages as well as other associated costs, which makes British labour more expensive and creates more demand for immigration...

I don't know why so many modern economists seem to favour a housing boom. If people are spending more than they ideally need to be on housing surely that leaves more disposable income to be spent elsewhere.

Allocating more resources than 'should' be necessary to buy or rent is surely a waste somewhere along the line.

mark said...

I understand that the EU dictates a non-EU/EU dichotomy in terms of immigration.

One problem with this is that the South Asian IT people you refer to get lumped in the same category as Kiwis and Aussies who unlike most immigrant groups by and large actually return to their place of origin after a few years working.

The shared ethnic ties, the blood sacrifice over 100 years and the shared religion, language and culture count for nothing. zilch. nada.

It seems the most important moral principle in the UK for any public figure is complete, utter and total non discrimination on the basis of religion, race and language.

This makes it almost impossible for people to even begin to discuss why Kiwis and Australians might not present the same issues as other immigrant groups.