As America debates the need for greater number of foreign skilled workers, Great Britain is taking the first step to ensure that skilled professionals choose UK as destination.
NEW DELHI: As America debates the need for greater number of foreign skilled workers, Great Britain is taking the first step to ensure that skilled professionals choose UK as destination.
For long, unlike in the US , international students in the UK would have to return to their home countries once their course was over.
Now, the UK’s department of trade and industry and Home Office propose to introduce new policies that would attract and retain foreign students who have completed a PhD at an accredited UK university. The focus is on shortage subjects, including science and engineering and MBAs
An announcement to this effect was made by secretary of state for trade and industry Patricia Hewitt as part of the five-year programme of the department of trade and industry.
Interestingly, the announcement comes at a time when US Congress is contemplating exempting foreign-born graduates of American universities from the H-1B annual cap.
In order to sustain the economic momentum, the British government also plans to evolve a focused highly skilled migration programme. This would enable UK to attract global entrepreneurial talent and academic expertise.
In the face of increased outsourcing, rise of India and China in the world economy, Britain needs to attract the best entrepreneurs, engineers and scientists in order to sustain its current economic momentum, it needs to attract entrepreneurs.
Indians account for 1.8% (1,053,411) of UK’s population, of these 570,000 Indians weren’t born in the UK.
Changing demographics have made immigration imperative for Britain. Consider this, in 1971, the median age was 34.1 years, it rose to 38.2 in 2002 and it is projected to rise to 43.3 years in 2031.
In 1971 there were 52 persons aged 65 for 100 persons under 16, In 2002 the figure rose to 80, projections for 2031 put the figure at 136 persons of the age of 65 for every 100 under the age of 16. Nature of demographic change coupled with the growth of China, India and other emerging economies will challenge many of UK’s existing producers and jobs.
In this context, Britain would like to emerge as “a magnet for talent from all over the world. Economic migration can also make a major contribution to our success, bringing in new entrepreneurs and investors and ensuring our businesses are not held back by being unable to find the skilled people they need.”