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Danger for IT workers in Mauritius

Posted by logan



It starts with an article in Defi-media

I woke up today and found this article: defi-media . After reading it, I was shocked to discover the suggestions put forward by OTAM and some of the people who were interviewed, including the founder of MSCC !

Claim #1 : "proposes that firms be permitted to recruit freely"

What does that mean ? Well, to hire a skilled foreigner in IT, a company has to pay him a minimum salary of Rs 30,000. Previously, it was Rs 40,000. Many foreign workers skilled in IT are getting better salaries: I heard people earning up to Rs 90,000. If employers are allowed to hire freely as OTAM suggests: here is what is going to happen: Mauritius is going to be flooded with IT workers who will work for Rs 6,000/month. . In other words, if we remove the Rs 30,000 minimum salary, local IT companies can hire workers for Rs 6,000/month, from Countries like Bangladesh. OTAM uses the analogy of the Manufacturing sector to justify this. Now, Mauritians work for Rs 6,000 in Textile factories. Is this what we want for our co-workers, friends, and future children who we are grooming for a prestigious career in IT in Mauritius ? What is also shocking is that the MSCC does not show that it disagreed with OTAM's claim #1. This leads me to question the motivations of MSCC.

Claim #2: "Quality of graduates"

Quote from MSCC: "The notion of having a graduate per household led to a drop in the level of education, which translates through a lack of skills. It is thus detrimental to operators, who must train young people, which costs time and resources".

I am not convinced by claim #2. The quality of graduates from Mauritius is not that different from Countries like India, which are doing quite well in the area of ICT. I am myself a product of the so-called "one graduate per family". Can MSCC or OTAM point out how my skills are not as good as software engineers from the US or Germany ? I've been approached by Fortune 500 companies in the US, and offered engineering jobs in some of the world's most prestigious IT companies.

I think that OTAM is using the fact that the quality of IT education in Mauritius needs improvment as a scapegoat excuse to justify hiring people from outside, and pay them Rs 6000/month. The real goal of OTAM is to eliminate the Rs 30,000 minimum salary that the government imposes on foreign workers who want to work in Mauritius. Again, I am deeply disappointed in the stance that MSCC took on this matter.

THe real issue is that many of the local IT companies do not invest in training of their workers. One software engineer in the US can cost 4000 to 5000 Euros. That's almost Rs 144,000 . If you want to hire a junior developer in France, you would need to pay at least 1500 Euros. That's Rs 60,000. Knowing those facts: we know that a starting developer gets around Rs 20,000 here. So on each junior developer, an outsourcing company is saving up to Rs 40,000 ! Yeah, Rs 40,000 ! So the companies are putting that money in their pockets, instead of trying to invest into improving the skills of their employees. Now, they want junior developers who will work for Rs 6,000/month. THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS !

Claim #3: "Disloyalty"

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