By Lea Pachta
PCG, the voice of UK freelancers, is calling for “serious reform” of the immigration system, particularly with regard to the use of ‘intra company transfer’ (ICT) work permits. It has done so in response to a review being conducted by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), the body which makes recommendations to Government on immigration policy.
PCG asserts such ‘ICT’ permits are displacing UK contractors, and it has been making a strong case for reform through numerous meetings with the MAC. PCG Managing Director, John Brazier, stated “We have been calling for such a review for some time, and our long history of involvement and action on work permit reform has no doubt contributed to the instigation of this exercise.”
Added Mr. Brazier “It is pleasing to see such organisations as APSCo adopting PCG’s stance — that is to say, supporting the reform and tightening of the Intra Company Transfer system, and we have worked very hard to get to this stage. We have been meeting with the MAC regularly to actively present our ideas and evidence, we welcome other submissions that strengthen our case.
“It is essential that the ICT system is reformed”, stated Mr. Brazier.
“It is ludicrous that no requirement exists for firms to first exploit the existing pool of UK labour, before engaging migrant workers. In a recession, with many talented, experienced, IT contractors out of work it is clear the system is not meeting the needs of the wider economy, and is instead causing the displacement of hardworking contractors. In particular, according to reports from our members, firms such as BT have been disgracefully exploiting this loophole massively to cut costs.”
Mr Brazier concluded:“We’ve worked very hard to get to this stage and now all that remains is to continue to engage with the Migration Advisory Committee and with other key stakeholders. The MAC make decisions in a thorough, evidence based manner and we believe they have the power to effect positive change in this area. We await the findings of their review with great interest.”