Simplify UK work permit system to boost growth, govt told

05 Feb 2013 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The government has been told to simplify the UK work permit system if it wants to stand a chance of boosting economic growth.

Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chief executive of Tata Consulting Services, itself part of India’s $100 billion (£63 billion) Tata Group, has highlighted “labour mobility” as a major factor in making investment in Britain easier and more attractive.

Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mr Chandrasekaran said: “Britain must simplify the visa system for workers wanting to come in and out. He added: “Our people don’t want to immigration [to Britain], they want to come and work and leave. We want to be able to help clients but need more flexibility of labour.”

With its focus on IT and technology services, Tata believes it is in “a unique position” to help Britain to drive efficiencies within its business environments. However, current immigration regulation, it claims, is preventing it from doing so.

In addition to suggestion he simplification of the UK visa system, the chief executive urged the government to focus more on skills. He said: “Invest in education and make the skills relevant to business. Government and business need to work together to develop a skill set that is changing rapidly.”

Technology is one of the fastest growing areas of development at the moment and it certainly has the potential to become one of the most lucrative sectors for the British economy.

Mr Chandrasekaran noted that Tata is hiring “all over the world” for all sorts of different skills. His business is capitalising on the rapid growth of IT, but without flexible immigration laws, it appears that the UK won’t be joining Tata in any meaningful sense any time soon.