Foreign IT workers are entering the UK from outside the EU in record numbers to take up "mid-level roles", according to the Association of Technology Staffing Companies (ATSCo).
The number of non-EU IT professionals entering the UK has increased by 14 per cent in the past year.
The majority are classed as "intra-company transfers", where multinational organisations relocate workers between offices in different countries.
ATSCo, which obtained the figures from Work Permits UK, said that 38,450 UK work permits were issued to non-EU IT workers last year, compared to 33,756 in 2006.
Ann Swain, chief executive of ATSCo, claimed that the UK is witnessing a reversal of the trend toward off-shoring, and accused organisations of " exploiting the leaky visa system to import cheap labour from abroad".
"There was a fear that support functions would be the thin edge of the wedge and that mid-level IT roles would go offshore next, but what is happening is quite different," she said.
"Foreign IT workers are coming to the UK to take these mid-level roles."
Swain also warned that the influx of foreign workers could accelerate the decline in the number of computer science graduates from UK universities.
"Is it any wonder that so few students are choosing IT when entry-level jobs are being sent offshore and workers are being brought in from overseas for mid-level positions?" she said.
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