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UKHotViews©

 

Wednesday 16 May 2018

UK IT Visa cap breached

VisaAccording to a BBC News report (based on research from CASE), 1,600 IT specialists from non-EU countries  who had been offered jobs in the UK were denied visas between Dec 17 and Mar 18 . These were Tier 2 visas designed to cap the number of non-EU skilled workers. The cap had only ever been exceeded once before - in June 2015 when just 66 applications were refused. So 1600 is a huge increase. The cap is 20,700 per year.

One theory is that EU IT workers are leaving the UK - or not applying for jobs - post BREXIT. Thus spurring the need for more non-EU workers.

I have mixed feelings about this. As readers know, I have long argued that we MUST train our own IT experts rather than rely on an external pool to always fill the gap. The visa cap should have spurred more firms to ‘train their own’. Of course, this takes time. But it is many years since the cap was introduced and it should have been reaping rewards - in terms of more home-grown IT experts - by now.

Conversely, most of the young tech companies I visit employ non-EU IT experts. Indeed many have been founded or are managed by such people. This has been one reason why the UK has such a vibrant tech scene. In turn, this can fuel the recruitment and training of our own talent.

Also, remember that IT visas are only offered to those that have job offers. So, rather than being a burden on the UK economy, they contribute immediately by way of taxes etc.

If you have views on this - or if your organisation has been affected by this cap - please drop me an email at rholway@techmarketview.com.  

Posted by Richard Holway at '07:48'

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