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Tuesday, 9 November 2010

UK Conservatives Drop All Pretence of Protecting British Workers

Tories Drop All Pretence of Protecting British Workers

The Government’s Chief Information Officer, John Suffolk, has urged Indian IT companies to “bid, bid, bid” for UK-based work in yet another stab in the back for British workers.
The move comes in the wake of David Cameron’s climb down on intra-company transfers which will now be excluded from the pathetic “immigration cap.”
Even opponents of that policy, such as Martyn Hart, chairman of the National Outsourcing Association, have pointed out the obvious, namely that Mr Cameron’s announcement was inevitable.
“Is it a coincidence that this news comes amidst new warnings that a forthcoming European trade treaty with India will circumnavigate the proposed cap in any case, by allowing multinational firms to transfer unlimited numbers of Indian employers to the UK?” Mr Hart wrote in a recent article.
Mr Suffolk, quoted in an interview with the online magazine, encouraged Indian suppliers to compete for IT work in the public sector, despite massive spending cuts announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review.
Mr Suffolk, who represents government thinking on the issue, said he had "no reservations whatsoever" on Asian firms “claiming a slice of the outsourcing pie services giants such as Fujitsu, Capgemini and IBM already enjoy.
"As far as we are concerned, the more suppliers bidding for government work, creates a positive, vibrant, innovative IT community and that is what we ought to promote," Mr Suffolk said.
“I spend a lot of time with our Indian colleagues, they are hugely talented and I encourage them to bid: it's their commercial decision whether do so and they will be treated like anybody else," he said, adding, significantly, that “In fact, we have to do that legally under the European Procurement rules. So yes please: bid, bid, bid."
A 2008 study by the Association of Technology Staffing Companies (ATSCO) revealed that the pay and prospects of junior IT support staff in the UK have “stagnated as services have been relocated to India.”
According to the ATSCO report, annual salaries at the lowest end of the industry have not risen in five years, which is directly attributable to the “offshoring" of low-skilled jobs to cheaper locations in Asia.
Furthermore, the report said, the depressed wages have deterred British people from even entering the industry, leaving a shortage of candidates for UK managerial positions.
"It is like removing the bottom rung of the ladder," Ann Swain, ATSCO's chief executive said in her reaction.
“The shortage now is of candidates with a few years experience looking for second and third jobs. But how do you get that experience if entry-level jobs are being sent offshore?"
Once again, the interests of British workers are put last by the Westminster parties.