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Edison Hill

Supply and Demand: The great equaliser

With a growing shortage of technology staff in the UK it makes me question some of the short-sighted changes in UK legislation that have taken place over the past few years.  In my opinion many of these are having a detrimental effect on the economy.

My job is to supply to meet demand and it’s always rewarding to make really good matches where candidates find their perfect job and the employer gets a real asset to their team.  However, making those matches is always challenging.

I don’t wish to go on a political moan (I was once told never discuss politics, religion or football in business), but it does seem that some of the policies that have been enshrined in law are more to get votes despite really harming UK PLC.

In particular, the changes to the Post Study Work permit. In times gone by a non EU graduate could stay on in the UK after their degree as long as they worked in a related field and would qualify for a further five year UK visa, again as long as they continued to work in a related field.

On a daily basis my clients are frustrated by the lack of quality candidates.  There are far more opportunities than people ready to take them. This is causing a real bottleneck in the delivery of new projects, systems being maintained and start-ups flourishing.

It occurs to me that it might be more enlightened to adopt the system used in other countries where immigration is permitted where there is a demand for a particular profession.  After all, it’s beneficial to have talented people helping our business community – and the British economy.

When people are leaving British universities, highly qualified, it seems mad to wave them goodbye as they take our education to help other countries business communities. This is especially true when our own businesses need them so much – and they want to stay here.

Because the nature of our agency is to have access to a wide range of candidates, both those who are looking for jobs and those who aren’t at present, we’re in the privileged position of being able to find good matches for clients.  But this isn’t true for many agencies, who don’t have our resources and we are often contacted by new clients who have spent a great deal of time and money trawling the job boards – to no avail.

They either haven’t found anyone suitable qualified and experienced or they’ve engaged the best of a bad bunch and are struggling to get the results they need.

Whilst we’re out of the recession, business cannot flourish without the right people in place.  The candidates are out there – but they’re not allowed to work here!  Time for some common sense being applied to immigration policies, I think.

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