The EU referendum is round the corner, and should the UK vote to leave the 28-nation bloc, IT contractors may have to upskill end-user staff, according to a briefing issued by an IT contractor training company.
The briefing, published by Capita, states that employers with a large number of EU workers in key positions should think of investing more money in upskilling if Britain leaves the EU. Capita believes that permanent employees will have to be trained quickly so that they can handle the jobs performed by EU migrants, who may leave the country if the exit causes the UK to make its immigration laws more stringent.
It is quite possible that the referendum will disappoint many IT contractor recruiters, especially if the immigration system gets transformed to a points-based system like the one in Australia.
First Point Group Managing Director David Taylor stated that a points-based system did not have more benefits compared to the freedom of movement offered by the EU. If such a system is implemented, Taylor believes, it would add red tape that is non-existent presently and also create uncertainty among businesses and their clients.
Some IT contractor recruiters want the UK to remain in the EU as it would prevent a drain of IT talent. This belief is strong among recruiters who work on behalf of banks. They believe that the financial nerve centre will shift from London to other major European cities such as Berlin and Paris.
The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) stated that exiting the EU would mean that UK nationals who want to work in Europe would have to apply for visas and sponsorships.
These opinions are not espoused by all IT contractor recruiters. Pertemps Investment Ltd stated that leaving the EU would give the UK the chance to reshape and repeal many of the employment laws that businesses dislike. The company also states that it would allow the country to perform its own calculation for statutory holiday pay and do away with the Agency Worker Regulations.