MAC Feedback Tier-2

The MAC Secretariat

Migration Advisory Committee

3rd Floor Seacole Building 2

Marsham Street London

SW1P 4DF

 

Telephone: 020 7035 8117/ 1764

mac@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

 

3 rd. July 2015

 

Dear MAC

 

Re: Tier 2 – Minimum Salary Thresholds Call for evidence

 

My experience is mainly of the IT and finance sectors. My IT sector experience dates from c1997, and so has covered many ‘boom’ years in IT as well as the .com ‘bust’. In 1997-2000 a combination of ‘Y2K’ projects, and the first .com boom, helped to create across the board shortages in skills. Companies could place full-page recruitment advertising in the trade press (‘Computing’ or ‘Computer Weekly’) and receive no replies at all. In the last decade, we have not faced such across the board shortages, but there have always been niches, some large, and some small, where skills have been scarce relative to demand. Senior roles require prior experience, and predicting which skills will be in demand in 2-3 years time is not much easier than predicting which stocks will be in demand in 2-3 years time. Whether one is a UK IT professional, or a UK technology consultancy, decisions about investing in training are made without a crystal ball. Those that invest in the areas which go on to flourish will prosper, just as those that make equity investments prosper if they correctly predict what will be popular. Unfortunately, it is inevitable that the guesses made about the future will not align perfectly with the reality of future demand, so there will always be areas of shortage. In some cases, with new technologies coming from overseas companies (the USA and Israel lead in many areas) there will have been no opportunity for those in the UK to gain expertise; the only expertise will lie within the overseas companies themselves, who will probably charge £250/hr for onsite consultancy, so it is much better for ‘UK PLC’ if employers here can head hunt individuals out of the companies, rather than having to pay vast fees.

 

The niches where there are shortages are not just niches within industries, but also within Sector Occupation Classification codes. In IT, having the right technological experience (eg ‘Big data’) is often a more important distinction than that between SOC 2136 (programmers/developers), SOC 2135 (analysts/designers) and SOC 2134 (project managers). This relates to the salary threshold debate because SOC codes necessarily cover a range of specializations (eg different technologies), and it would not be practical to list separate salaries by technology: even if one was prepared to divide each of those 3 SOC codes into several hundred sub-areas, many roles involve a combination of skills/technologies, and it would certainly be impractical to list every possible combination

questions answered..