Indian cos in UK rap Cameron’s plan to change migrant rules
Indian companies in the UK have expressed concern over recent announcements on planned changes to the eligibility criteria for hiring migrant labour, warning the changes would “severely disrupt” their operations. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) warned that proposed plans for changes to the Intra-Company Transfer route indicated by British Prime Minister David Cameron would have an effect of restricting mobility of skilled professionals into the UK from non-EU countries, including India.
“There are over 800 Indian companies operating in the UK, contributing to the overall economy and innovation, paying taxes, hiring locally and upskilling local talent,” said CII president Sumit Mazumder. “While several companies offer their own training <g data-gr-id="39">programmes,</g> when it comes to high-skilled work and specialised knowledge of company operations, the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) route becomes crucial. Many companies avail the ICT visa and their operations may be severely disrupted,” he warned.
“We understand the concern on immigration and skills shortage in the UK. This is a huge opportunity for India and the UK to work together in strengthening skills capability and developing a globally competitive workforce.
“We must not undermine the contributions of Indian companies in the UK, who are keen to partner in this process,” Mazumder said. CII pointed out that the development is “particularly disturbing” in light of Grant Thornton’s recent study conducted in collaboration with CII, which highlights the growing contribution of Indian companies towards investment and job creation in the UK.
According to the report, top Indian companies in the UK have a combined turnover of 22 billion pounds and together employ over 110,000 people. CII has proposed a meeting of Indian company representative with UK’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), which has been tasked with advising the UK government on a new “skills levy,” raising salary thresholds for migrant workers, and reforms to skills shortage criteria.
Prashant Jhawar, chairman of CII’s India Business Forum in the UK, said: “It would be important for the UK government to get a deeper understanding of how this would hit the real stakeholders in the India-UK economic relationship both Indian and British companies.
“We are keen to showcase how Indian companies in the UK bring in the best talent to boost economic growth and innovation <g data-gr-id="30">and</g> in fact, create more jobs locally. “We will approach the UK government for a business meeting to apprise them on this issue.” The news comes ahead of CII’s annual CEOs delegation to Britain early next month.