The UK's IT graduates could find it even more difficult to obtain work if new government proposals making it easier for multinational companies to transfer non-European Union graduates to UK offices take effect.
The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) said that the Home Office's Migration Advisory Committee had proposed reforms to the current point-based system which would allow the graduates to become eligible for intra-company transfers.
The transfers would be available to graduates from non-EU companies after just three months of employment at the sponsoring organisation, without that firm having to advertise vacancies in the UK first, according to APSCo.
Under a Freedom of Information request APSCo found that 29,240 non-EU IT workers came into the UK in 2008 on intra-company transfers, more than double the 14,255 non-EU workers coming into the UK to work in all the other professional service sectors combined.
"While the intra-company transfer system might not be exploited in the financial and legal sectors, there is evidence that it is being exploited in the IT sector," said APSCo chief executive Ann Swain.
"Using the system to bring in graduates would be wrong-headed and illogical. Employers should be required by law to advertise vacancies in the UK first before transferring employees from overseas offices. We are disappointed that the Migration Advisory Committee is not recommending that this loophole be closed."
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