UK Policy Change For IT Pros Not To Affect Existing Workers

Bangalore: | Updated: Oct 29 2002, 05:30am hrs
The UK minister of e-commerce and competitiveness Stephen Timms said removal of IT skills from the UK shortage occupation list, will not affect the fortunes of Indian companies or Indian tech workers operating in the UK.

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of Bangalore IT.Com 2002, Mr Timms said review of occupation shortage list is a regular process and Indian IT companies operating in the UK can still use the intra-company transfer facility to post people to UK offices exactly as before.

The removal of IT skills from the list means we do not have an overall shortage of IT skills in the UK, the minister pointed out.

This has brought changes in work permit requirements for the IT industry but would not have any impact on movement of existing people, he added.

The minister also said that increasing prominence of India as a business process outsourcing and call centre destination has not impacted the job opportunities in the UK in a significant manner.

Despite the increase in companies setting up call centre operations in India, the employment opportunities in the call centre industry in UK had increased, Mr Timms said.

Earlier, addressing the inaugural session of the IT.Com 2002 Mr Timms said that the UK software and IT services industry was set to touch $40 billion mark by 2004. Growth has been strongest 17 per cent in outsourcing and processing, accounting for over one third of the total market value, closely followed by software services. These are areas where Indian companies can continue to win business in the UK, he added.

The minister also said despite the global economic downturn, 9/11 and falling stocks the software and IT services market in UK now the biggest in Europe grew by 5.4 per cent last year to reach $30 billion and employs over 900,000 people.

Mr Timms, leading a high-level delegation from the UK to the Bangalore IT.Com is scheduled to visit Infosys and other leading Indian software services export firms.