With research revealing a stark increase in UK talent migrating to EU countries since the referendum, the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has warned that the lack of viable options for highly skilled professionals will exacerbate the UK’s loss of valuable talent.
Joint research between the Oxford-in-Berlin partnership and the WZB Social Science Centre, also in Berlin, which studied OECD and Eurostat data, revealed a 30% increase in migration from the UK to the EU between 2016-18 following the referendum.
Tania Bowers, Legal Counsel and Head of Public Policy at APSCo commented:
“The current immigration system simply isn’t fit for purpose and the fact that migration has increased since the vote suggests we’re on track for a real resourcing challenge in the very near future. As we lose talent to other EU destinations, our reliance on international resources increases. But there is little to support and encourage contract workers to make a move to the UK for work after the transition period ends, which is a real concern given that so many sectors rely on a globally flexible workforce. While Tier 2 visas remain in place, the fact that an individual has to have a job offer and be sponsored by a licensed entity means this route isn’t viable for independent professionals seeking multiple contract opportunities. Additionally, the Tier 1 Global Talent visa is extremely limited in scope so is just not suitable for most independent professionals.”
“The consequences this could have on resources for some of the country’s critical sectors is concerning. With on-going skills shortages across the likes of life sciences, engineering, technology and construction, there needs to be a sustainable pool of talented resources available. And to have access to this, we need an immigration system that recognises that the UK’s ability to attract world class brands to set up business here and to negotiate advantageous trade deals after the Brexit transition, pivots on access to international skills and a flexible workforce.
“APSCo has asked to be part of the stakeholder group which will be consulted on the independent worker visa plans over the coming year and will be pushing hard to ensure that it allows a route for independent skilled professionals.”
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