IT bosses: foreign workers are good for UK tech

Speakers at the Intellect Annual Regent Conference have stated their belief that protectionist attitudes could harm the UK technology industry

Far from damaging British interests, foreign IT companies and workers actually benefit the UK economy and jobs market, a technology conference heard on Thursday.

The Intellect Annual Regent Conference heard how protectionist attitudes like 'Buying British' or 'British jobs for British people' could harm the UK technology industry. Speaking at the conference, Mike Lynch, chief executive of UK software giant Autonomy, said opening the doors to highly skilled foreign workers will help create IT jobs in the UK. "One of the things we do in the UK is that we get caught up in the whole immigration debate," he said.

In a separate address, Ian Watmore, the chief operating officer of the government's Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG), told the conference why it would be a bad idea for the government to favour UK firms when purchasing IT services and equipment.

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see Why foreigners are good for the UK tech industry on silicon.com.


Get the latest technology news and analysis, blogs and reviews delivered directly to your inbox with ZDNet UK's newsletters.