Contractor Slave Trade – Beware the slave trade in UK IT workers

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Contractor Slave Trade
Contractor Slave Trade

Contractor Slave Trade – Company 1

A contractor tells us about the contractor slave trade as he sees it.

I recently responded to two newspaper advertisements appearing to offer IT training.

The first company was FDM in Brighton where I attended one of their open days.

They provide training in Java and related skills. You do not pay for the training. However, during the period of training you do not receive any income. Obviously you cannot continue to claim any benefits as you are no longer technically available for work.

They claim the training is worth over £10,000. They state that on successful completion of the training they will employ you. However, it is at a very low rates of pay (which initially appears reasonable in return for the training).

You have to commit to working for them for two years. Otherwise you have to repay the full cost of the training. You also have to agree to be placed on-site at any of their clients. This would probably be in the UK but may be anywhere in Europe.

This is where the catch comes in. You have to pay all travel and accommodation costs out of the low salary!

Contractor Slave Trade – Company 2

The second company was advertising “Train for IT Consultant Positions” in a Portsmouth newspaper. I was immediately suspicious as there was no company name, just a telephone number.

A quick internet search revealed that the company was International Computer Systems Ltd in Croydon. At an initial meeting I discovered that they offer training in Microsoft .net technologies. Although, strangely their aptitude test asks about Oracle and Linux!

They value the six months training at £16,000 and expect you to pay a contribution of £6,000. They will even help you apply for a Business Development Loan to cover the cost.

Again you receive no income during the period of training.

Offer Employment

I was told that on completion of the training they will offer you employment. The original advertisement mentions a salary up to £24,000. Although you are under no obligation to accept the offer.

It seems strange that they are willing to fund £10,000 worth of training without expecting some commitment from you in return. Although they were unwilling to allow me to read the terms and conditions of the training offer without me attending a second meeting in Croydon, where I was expected to pay a deposit at the time of registration.

Both these companies appear to be taking unfair advantage of the skills shortage and the reluctance of traditional employers to offer training to new recruits.

Beware the contractor slave trade.

For advice on successful contract job hunting click on Job Hunting.

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