Are Foreign IT workers hurting UK IT industry competitiveness?

Figures obtained by the Association of Technology Staffing Companies (ATSCo) under the Freedom of Information act show that the number of foreign IT workers entering UK in 2007 increased by 14 percent from 33,756 to 38,450.

Other figures point out that the number of non-European workers in the UK Tech industry had tripled over the last five years.

An overwhelming majority of workers - more than four out of five - came from the Indian sub-continent and most of them came through intra-company transfers, a process that is being thoroughly abused according to Ann Swain, Chief executive of ATSCo.

In a statement, she said "Our concern is that the British IT workforce is being bypassed and that this is damaging the long-term competitiveness of the UK IT industry."

ATSCo is concerned that organisations are bringing in cheap labour from abroad to work in mid-level roles, taking over indigeneous or even European workers.

The comments come as there's growing concern that British students are losing interests in computing as the managing director of Microsoft Research Cambridge noted last year.

He noticed that on average only 17,000 computing graduates come out of universities every year to fill more than 100,000 tech related jobs in the UK.