The number of skilled migrants is set to rise 14 per cent to 812,000 over the next four years as the UK looks to plug its growing skills gap.
According to a report commissioned by recruitment consultancy and IT outsourcing firm Harvey Nash, skilled migrant workers will contribute more than £77bn to the UK economy by 2012.
The Future Flows report, compiled by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), said migrants already account for 2.5 per cent of the country’s total workforce and contribute over £36bn worth of output, which is predicted to increase 2.8 per cent reaching over £49bn by 2012.
The IT, telecommunications and transport sector will require an extra 19,000 skilled migrants by 2012, as demand for e-commerce and software specialists rises. Their contribution is expected to add a £16.2bn to the sector.
Toby Strauss, executive chairman of OrderWork, said the report highlights the need for flexibility in resourcing approaches for the channel.
“Those that stick with the ‘old models’ of UK only employed specialists, or a blunt focus on outsourcing to the Far East, will struggle in competing with those using more agile and flexible resourcing approaches, including new pools of expertise such as those highlighted in the report from the newer members of the EU.”
Strauss said it is interesting to note in this context that, as fast as UK IT service companies offshore jobs, Indian outsourcers are increasingly needing to deploy local resources in the UK as their end customers insist on onsite high quality resources.
Highly skilled migrants’ spending supported £8.4bn of the UK’s gross value added in 2007, and according to CEBR is set to rise to £13bn over the next four years.
The report also found that the majority of these highly skilled migrants will come from the European Union (EU) and others will come from Asia and Africa. In 2012 an estimated 365,000 skilled migrants will live in London, with a further 100,000 working in the south east and 49,000 in the east of England.
Strauss continued: “Eventually organisations will achieve the optimum mix of employed and third party resources onshore, offshore and ‘near shore’ (ie from the new members of the EU).”
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