Indian Companies in UK concerned over restrictions on labour mobility

Indian Companies in UK concerned over restrictions on labour mobility

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has expressed deep concern over the recent announcement made by UK Prime Minister David Cameron which would have the effect of restricting mobility of skilled professionals into UK from non-EU countries, including India.

Commenting on the issue, Sumit Mazumder, President, CII said, “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. While several companies offer their own training programs, but when it comes to high-skilled work and specialized knowledge of company operations, the Intra-Company Transfer route becomes crucial. Many companies avail the ICT visa and their operations may be severely disrupted.”

“We understand the concern on immigration and skills shortage in the UK. This is a huge opportunity for Indiaand 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.” he added.

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.  The report shows that top Indian companies in the UK have a combined turnover of GBP 22 billion and together they employ over 110,000 people.

As the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) 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, the CII is proposing a business discussion for the MAC with Indian companies currently operating in the UK.

“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 and in fact, create more jobs locally. We will approach the UK Government for a business meeting to apprise them on this issue,” said Prashant Jhawar, Chairman of CII’s India Business Forum in the UK.

The news comes ahead of the UK visit of the CII’s annual CEOs delegation and has caused significant concern among the business community.