....and offers advice to crack the growing skills crisis...
Robin Guenier, executive director of Taskforce 2000, has
advised the Government to use its period as President of the
European Community to call together relevant EU Ministers to
ensure action is taken to minimise the effects of the Year
2000 date-change across Europe.
"There is strong evidence that most other EU countries are
doing less than the United Kingdom," said Guenier. "We
cannot afford to treat Britain in isolation, this problem
knows no boundaries and we have to push our European
partners along. With the likely introduction of the Euro in
some EC countries, the date-change pressure is going to be
compounded, so it is urgent that we get the message across
to other EC Government's as soon as possible."
Guenier also renewed his call for a temporary relaxation of
immigration laws in a bid to help tackle the millennium
problem in the UK. He wants the Government to consider
easing the restrictions on work permits for skilled IT
professionals from countries such as India to help crack the
UK skills crisis.
Guenier, a former chief executive of the Central Computer
and Telecommunications Agency, has made a number of
recommendations to the Government, one of which included a
short-term relaxation of the immigration laws to allow IT
experts from non-EC countries to have temporary work permits
to help solve the problem.
"There is a shortage of skilled IT people in this country at
the moment and the evidence suggests that our own skilled
people are going to places like Germany, so we are losing
people overseas. I know that there are people in places such
as India and Eastern Europe who have the skills that we lack
and I know that they find it difficult to get work permits."
In addition, Guenier is also calling for: a central
register of retired and unemployed people with relevant
skills the use of the Government's welfare to work scheme
to engage young people in the people and help them to
develop the skills needed to help tackle the problem
Editor's Note A Year 2000 Awareness Week is being planned by
Taskforce 2000 for the week beginning 8th December, 1997.
For further information contact Perveen Akhtar at A Plus
Group on 01753 790700.
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