More squeezing of the squeezed middle
Import cheaper labour, screw the resident population.
The government's migration quango says the UK needs more immigrants from outside the EU in four key IT areas, namely senior developers, product managers, network security specialists and "data scientists"*. After listening to pleas from employers, these four job categories should should be added to the "Shortage Occupation …
... companies are unwilling to pay decent salaries so want much cheaper resource and naively think they can get just as good people abroad.
And if the offshore muppets who I have to work with on a daily basis are anything to go by we would be better off letting school children of 5 years old have a go.
Why are we not training out current 12-18 year olds these skills?? My 13 year old son came home from school complaining about his IT lessons. So far they have learnt Word, excel and PowerPoint and scratch. They dropped the proper programming module this year because they are running behind. IT infests out lives. I think it should infest their school lives. I.e. in science they should be using spreadsheets for analysis of results from data and experiments. In geography doing mapping and the like using opendata. It all needs to merge and not be separate. How can we expect people to get good at this stuff if it's not a natural and comfortable choice.
One almost thinks that the gov don't want high paid skilled workers but just want low paid skilled workers. Time for the tin foil hat...
"I didn't invest half my life in getting an education just to work for the minimum wage. If I wanted to do that I'd have quit school at the earliest opportunity and got a McJob."
So minimum wage work is beneath you? I assume you have a figure in your head of what minimum salary you would accept, and as a result will refuse to work until you get at least that? The rub being that the minimum wage worker (regardless of their background or qualification) has a work ethic which pays for you to not work.
Education is to improve your prospects of work, not to guarantee a minimum wage above minimum wage. Funnily in IT the catch 22 (when I started at least) was qualification + work experience and as a result I worked for free (actually for a reference which has been worth my investment of time). Of the people who thought like you in my group of contacts lasted months up to 2 yr without a job before caving and doing what was necessary (work) either in IT or not.
It is all investment (of time, money, willpower) to try and improve your prospects of a better life. It doesnt mean it is delivered on a silver platter by your butler, it means you fight to survive and to succeed.
"Education is to improve your prospects of work, not to guarantee a minimum wage above minimum wage".
Only a minority of people will educate or train themselves. This means they are, relatively speaking, a scarce resource. Scarce resources are more valuable.
By extension, if I was just going to earn minimum wage for what I'm doing now, I'd choose to do something where I got to work a lot less hours, was a lot easier and where I had to care a lot less for my minimum wage, than I do now.
Perhaps everyone should earn the same wages or salary, no matter what they do. That's never been tried before.....
"Only a minority of people will educate or train themselves. This means they are, relatively speaking, a scarce resource. Scarce resources are more valuable."
In theory yes, but if you push everyone to get a degree for the most basic jobs (last gov) then scarcity leaves and so does the value. My issue with PassiveSmoking was his claim to be too good to work because they wont pay him enough. So instead he can bunk off while the minimum wage earners who do work end up paying the tax to keep him sitting pretty. Regardless of qualification if you need to survive you need to earn money. Welfare is a support structure not a baseline until you find the ideal paradise utopia dream job.
He may think he is too good to work a minimum wage job. I think I am too good to pay for any lazy ass who thinks that.
I have no issue with people looking for a better job and better prospects, thats what improves wages. I believe in the welfare safety net if you honestly cannot find employment. But his wording states clearly his choice due to his belief he is better than the people who work a McJob. I have more respect for the worker of the McJob than the parasite
The "degree" is not a fundamental unit of education, therefore Cambridge and Bedfordshire will produce differently able graduate students.
What is really taught at university is the intellectual apparatus to solve abstract problems using available tools.
So, perhaps not so much in demand for an English degree....but somewhat important in designing genotype specific anti-cancer therapies.
And yes, although I can flip burgers, does that seem a good use of my skill set?
Oh, and FYI I never said I was better than a burger flipper. I said that the skills I've worked to acquire and the work I do with those skills are more demanding than the skills a burger flipper needs. Nice job reading into what I said. Projecting a little, perhaps?
If someone does a job that requires a specialised skill set or that makes more demands of an individual than flipping burgers then they should be compensated in recognition of those skills and demands. A soldier at the entry level, for example, probably isn't going to be highly educated (which you will probably misconstrue as me saying all squaddies are morons based on your track record), but they put their lives in mortal danger for the sake of people they've never met and probably never will. Therefore their job is more demanding and they deserve higher pay. A surgeon has invested years of hard work and money into learning how to cut somebody open without harming them with the intent of helping them survive things that would otherwise kill them. Therefore his job is more skilful and he should be paid a salary that reflects that.
"Oh, and FYI I never said I was better than a burger flipper. I said that the skills I've worked to acquire and the work I do with those skills are more demanding than the skills a burger flipper needs."
I am sorry if I misinterpreted your comment- I didn't invest half my life in getting an education just to work for the minimum wage. If I wanted to do that I'd have quit school at the earliest opportunity and got a McJob. I hope you can understand how I misunderstood McJob as insulting. And how you didnt get an education to do minimum wage, you could just leave school and do that. However I now understand you have worked harder than a burger flipper to get more demanding skills than those who left school for a McJob. Wow.
"If someone does a job that requires a specialised skill set or that makes more demands of an individual than flipping burgers then they should be compensated in recognition of those skills and demands."
Why? When you say specialised skill set at what availability is it? If you are as available as burger flippers then your specialisation may be so available that you are overpricing yourself in the market. I have been there, paid less because everyone went into IT when it was advertised non-stop. I had to get on the bottom rung and yet I had a degree. I didnt demand they pay what I think I am worth, I proved my worth.
"A surgeon has invested years of hard work and money into learning how to cut somebody open without harming them with the intent of helping them survive things that would otherwise kill them. Therefore his job is more skilful and he should be paid a salary that reflects that."
Assuming your skills are comparable to a surgeon then I assume you have no problem getting your asking price? But that is not what you said. Also the market dictates the price you are paid, you are paid on requirements not your belief. I assume you like your affordable computer, energy, housing, gadgets, food, even your McDonalds etc. Why do you think the prices are where they are and why do you think the industry shifts when they realise paying peanuts for good skills results in people who dont know what they are doing?
My issue with your comment was the self importance of being too good to work until they pay what I want. If everyone was like that nothing would work and prices rocket.
Get the fuck out!
I WORKED for a degree, I invested a lot of money and a huge chunk of my life into getting the little white piece of paper that says I'm qualified to do my job. Then I WORKED for an entry level job where I didn't earn much but gained experience necessary to get a better one. Now I WORK for the salary I EARN now.
You really think a software engineer should be on the same pay scale as a burger flipper? Are you trolling? Or are you a Comrade? Or are you really just that stupid? Maybe instead of venting your tall poppy syndrome attitude you should invest some of your life in some actual self-improvement.
"I WORKED for a degree, I invested a lot of money and a huge chunk of my life into getting the little white piece of paper that says I'm qualified to do my job. Then I WORKED for an entry level job where I didn't earn much but gained experience necessary to get a better one. Now I WORK for the salary I EARN now."
Congrats. That sounds very different to the original post of I didn't invest half my life in getting an education just to work for the minimum wage. If I wanted to do that I'd have quit school at the earliest opportunity and got a McJob. which sounds like your not willing to work for a wage you look down on. As you said you get the qualification so you could WORK for an entry level job. So by your own admission you got educated for a low wage. The salary you earn now is based on the current market rates to have you. Just as the McJobs salary is on their market rate.
"You really think a software engineer should be on the same pay scale as a burger flipper? Are you trolling? Or are you a Comrade? Or are you really just that stupid? Maybe instead of venting your tall poppy syndrome attitude you should invest some of your life in some actual self-improvement."
Thanks for the laugh. What level of software engineer are we talking because I have dealt with some who shouldnt have been paid at all, others who were invaluable. Those who are too good to work the entry level (unlike you as you now say) dont get in. Those who get the education but then apply themselves and are not too good to work for what they consider too low a salary move to where they want to be as their skills progress (for money, enjoyment, etc). Btw your comment about Comrade is funny, it is you complaining about capitalist market rate making you feel like a 'burger flipper'.
"Perhaps everyone should earn the same wages or salary, no matter what they do. That's never been tried before....."
I try to see your point but then I have this feeling the Soviets tried that and who knows probably North Korea to day. I could imagine slaves also had the same wages in good old times.
The problem is with the "everyone" as it has this habit of becoming everyone but us.
...It never stops does it?
How are we going to increase the number of senior developers if we tell the junior ones that their future roles are going to be taken from them by people conveniently being parachuted in from abroad? And by employers keen to avoid any wage increase that a fall in supply normally causes?
Not only will this move not help with supply, it will end up making matters far worse in the long term when people start looking for jobs with better prospects, and the supply of 'senior developers' and others dries up even more.
"How are we going to increase the number of senior developers if we tell the junior ones that their future roles are going to be taken from them by people conveniently being parachuted in from abroad?"
I have nephews and a niece who are all in college majoring in physics and related fields. My career recommendation to them is to make sure you're your own boss. If there's anyone above you on the corporate food chain, they will be scouring the world for a cheaper replacement for you.
If you could name one communist state where people are/were happy, could come and go as they pleased and were treated fairly, I'd agree, but for me communism doesn't seem to work out quite the way Marx hoped it would. Shame, really, it's a nice idea.
However, some other sort of revolution would not go amiss. There is no-one worthy of respect of any political hue, and that is depressing. Sadly, most revolutions just seem to end up with a worse bunch of bastards than the set you had before.
...tech jobs to developing countries is to dampen labour rates at home.
This makes the home market less attractive to anyone other than migrants from developing countries.
This seems silly. Can't we have a society where the stuff is done by the people in the society, at a reasonable wage?
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It's that timeless trick of advertising for a C++ quantitative programmer with 10 years experience on a salary somewhere less than a typical grade wage. Nobody applies, therefore there's a skills shortage. Brilliant. What is truly brilliant is that they managed to convince some dickhead in the migration quango to believe them.
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I'm enjoying the current outsourcing tide, and welcome a new flood of junior developers. When companies get sick of employees who are, patently, terrible and/or impossible to communicate with, I'm able to be a lot more picky in my future roles! Seriously though, I honestly believe I was chosen for my current senior dev role based firmly on my ability to communicate, rather than my technical expertise. (I base this on the complete lack of technical questions at the interview.)
in an employer's eyes - on the very day that you turn forty your skills become obsolete
Not in my experience. Admittedly, the skills I had at age 40 are mostly obsolete today. Most of the skills I use were acquired in the past 10 years, some in the past year, and there are a few where I'm still reading the book. You have to keep learning.
"Don't forget that - in an employer's eyes - on the very day that you turn forty your skills become obsolete ..."
At one company I used to work for, their maximum age of retention was 39.5, since age 40.0 is when age discrimination laws kick in. Seeing what was coming, when I reached the age of about 39.3, I found another company that valued people based on experience rather than recentness of degree and bailed.
Based on the latest immigration figures which have increased again both from the EU and the non-EU do we not already have lots of skilled people coming into the country? Isnt this one of the wonderful benefits of being in the EU?
And no I couldnt keep a straight face as I typed that.
I am a UK born and raised developer. I am what the UK is apparently asking for...Why did I leave the UK to be a developer in another country? because not a single company in the UK is run correctly IMO. Developers are seen as numbers, as implementers of a managers idea, rather than the highly skilled and knowledgeable software engineers that they are.
In the 15 years I was a developer in the UK I received 0 additional training paid for by my company, I was forced to use technology and hardware so out of date the manufacturers of it didn't even mention it on their website. I was regularly told I should feel lucky to even have a job at all in this climate, was paid above average but no where close to where I needed to be, was constantly told there was no more money in the budget for even a 1K a year pay rise, whilst at the same time the bosses ordered brand new BMWs and Mercs for themselves. I was also told constantly that my opinion didn't matter, that only the managers decision did and was final....then I was reamed out at least once every 2 months for not doing something I was not told to do, wasn't aware existed (because communication was none existent) and wasn't even responsible for (because the managers were supposed to be) any attempt to defend myself was met with piss taking, threats and generally not giving two shits. The hardware was the cheapest pile of crap novatec or what ever new cheapest pc builder had on their shelves at the time (seriously who the hell spends only £300 on a dev box that only gets replaced every 7 years!) and any complaints were met with a considering "oh god you're never happy are you" and generally I felt I was treated like a 2nd class person in every UK dev job I have had.
I moved country and things are looking up. Everything is better, the attitude of the staff, the way I am treated, the perks of the job, the pay, the free food, the free parking, the training.
If ukGov plc want to attract foreign developers, they need to start by convincing the tech bosses to treat people with respect and actually pay them what they are worth, because at the moment there is not a single reason I would return to the UK to work, even Poland is better in terms of the work being done and the benefits given!
I first escaped abroad as a young graduate because I was priced out of living in London when I got a job there.
I expect quite a few of today's young grads can identify with that.
Came back to Blighty a few years later, and found myself too old to be employed in a techie role. That is to say, companies looked down on a techie who approaches 30 without having 'progressed' to a Suit role like management or marketing. So I b*****ed off abroad again.
I expect quite a few of today's senior developers, like you, can identify with that.
Back in Blighty, but only 'cos I can telework intercontinentally now. Haven't worked for a UK employer (except myself) since sometime last century.
Mark 65: I get work, including my current main job and its predecessor, by building a reputation. In my case, my Apache work is what mostly matters, though one or two other things (like having served as Invited Expert with the W3C and built some good tools) doesn't hurt.
I expect you could take your pick of major opensource organisations with whom to build a track record. Expect it to take a while!
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I think that all the time there are native people with relevant skills available, that this type of request should be squashed. Does the Government even try to assess whether there is a real skills shortage, or do they trust the very people who are asking and would likely benefit through smaller wage bills?
How to independently measure whether there are people available to do the jobs? Well, how about a Register!
Anybody in El. Reg interested in creating a list of people with specific job skills who are currently available to present to the Government to counter claims of shortage of skills? I'd probably be prepared to pay a reasonable amount to appear on such a list when I'm not in work!
I've used the Joke icon because of the pun, but maybe it's not a joke.
The govt doesnt know. The companies don't really know either, but they are always looking at ways to making more profit, and devaluing the labour pool is one of them. Remember, young foreign workers have zero social ties, and can work ridiculous hours (speaking from experience!!).
Please note, I am *not* saying the talent isn't there, but the UK IMHO is a very small minded place, and has legions of the population that are fiercely defensive of anything "foreign". And that includes ideas.
The market of the EU is huge but non-linear. The marker in the US is huge and comparatively linear - any bureaucracy is at least theoretically in English. This is a problem.
The US has this concept of "prevailing wage",and all non-US jobs have to be posted for 30 days.
Does the UK have something similar?
For example if I want an "senior HTML5 developer" there should be a lower limit of what they can be paid?
Of the firms they listened to, how many had more than 20 employees but did not have IT apprentices schemes. Most of these issues are self inflicted because many business do not have professional development schemes to train and mentor there staff.
I have worked with many leading investment banks, leading retailer's, NHS and logistics companies over the last two years and there is very little proper structured professional IT development.
I would change the rules to specify that firms must demonstrate that they have tried to develop these skills in house first.
Anything bar train your own staff.
Once upon a time when there were significant levels of corporation taxes it made sense to put money back into a business to do such things as train staff and invest in new equipment as that was tax deductable. Now it's all based on short term milking as much money from the profits as possible to the shareholders who'll just move on when the business looks like it's failing.
Getting people for 1/4 of the price is great even if they are only 1/2 as good, this is what major banks in the UK do, they can end up with cheaper, easy to dispose of staff, no pension commitments either.
What I'd like to see is taxation of non domestic workers directly funding education in the skill that's lacking, the trouble is the time it takes to come to fruition is more than a single government lasts and they are only concerned in the next couple of years, not the 4-6 it takes.
While a few people bash IT workers from abroad, there are a lot of really very, very good people, and issues are often cultural (e.g. where a reply "yes" may mean "yes, I understand the question" but it appears to be a "yes, it's done").
Don't forget, India has more elite graduates (masters and firsts) than the U.S. have graduates of any type (including theology thirds), this will only escalate as they invest more and more in education, and we invest less and less.
Take medicine for example, three years ago the course fees were uncapped, so £3500 yearly fees are now £9000 a year, we will feel the result of this within 4-5 years when the number of GPs falls to critical levels as the number retiring outpaces those entering general practice - this is of course what's happening with the first wave of IT people.
The same companies that don't want to pay tax, or pay to educate children/adults are now complaining that there are not enough people with skills they did not want to pay for. So we must know import more people to do these jobs. No blame for the companies, no blame for the government, I'm surprised they have not blamed terrorists.
I work for a tech company in Bristol. I get training, visits to dev conferences, lots of brand new, self-chosen hardware, opportunities to learn, an interesting product to work on, use of new technology, chosen by developers. A pretty decent benefits package too.
Occasionally i find frustrations with my job. But then i remember where i used to work and realise how lucky I am. I have to go now. We have some live music in the office this afternoon. There will probably be beer.
Had to advertise for a developer job for a 12 month contract with possible extension, salary £45k, 36 days leave.
Develop a web based app with whatever lingo they were happy with. This was about 2 years ago.
Had 12 applicants, and there was only 1 British candidate. He was shortlisted for interview but didn't pass the tests (no code writing required, just commenting on some pseudo code logic).
It was a mid-level post, I think the salary was ok?
"Had to advertise for a developer job for a 12 month contract with possible extension, salary £45k, 36 days leave."
Well given this was for a 1 year contract - it wasn't a salary of £45K you were offering...
So given long-term contract rates, you were really looking for a recent graduate with circa 3 years experience.
So it would be interesting to know the thumbnail profiles of the applicants...
in my eyes, there is a lot of fragmentation in how companies staff IT in the UK. In the past there where network, server, desktop, application & developer teams, many of the labour intensive roles like developer and application teams have been hived off as packets of work to third party companies, initially based in the UK but now more likely abroad. In my eyes this outsourcing is what is reducing the availability of UK based staff, and now many organisations require data to be retain in the eu/uk which requires staff here hence the need to import those foreign nationals doing the jobs abroad to do them here instead!!
of any imported labour is female aged 16 to 22 or male aged 18 to 24, must be from a high fertility rate country, any other skills advantageous.
Despite importing nearly 300,000 people last year alone, the fertility rate is still only 1.9.
This means that the UK population as a whole is ageing (now > 40), what happens when their are more people collecting pensions than those contributing ?
David Cameron may have been elected on 'No Ifs, No Buts' but the reality is that in order to keep the ponzi going they have to import more and more young ones, IT is seen as a young persons game and so they claim a skills shortage in order to fulfill the primary requirement.
They would claim there is a shortage of shelf stackers but stacking shelves is a middle aged persons job. (burnt out IT people:)
'By the time him his family are fed watered and housed, any tax revenue has gone out the window.'
But his children will pay into the 'Pension Pot'* for the next 50 years, by the time these children try to claim the politicians will be long gone.
*it's called a pension pot but all payments in are matched by payments out, the reality is that there is no pot to piss in let alone get a pension out for these poor ignorant immigrants.
"The government's migration quango says the UK needs more immigrants from outside the EU in four key IT areas, namely senior developers, product managers, network security specialists and "data scientists""
Looking at these four areas, it is obvious that all these senior roles require solid prior real-world experience and not just a couple of years post-grad. Looking at the world, there aren't many places outside of the EU and north America where you are likely to get people with these skills who are interested in relocating to the UK and be able to hit the ground running. So I would be interested in knowing just where TechUK think these people will be coming from.
No TechUK need to encourage it's supporters to train and promote internally here in the UK, so as to create the vacancies for recent graduates. This also has the benefit of creating a pool of expertise that can be exported...
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