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UK Overtakes US in Attracting Global Talent, Says OECD Report

  • In Updates
  • 10 Mar 2023, 03:28 AM
  • By Technologist Confidant
UK Overtakes US in Attracting Global Talent
The UK has experienced a remarkable rise in the rankings of countries most attractive to highly qualified workers, thanks to changes to its migration regime post-Brexit. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) announced that the UK had jumped up its "talent attractiveness" list faster than any other country since 2019, placing it in the top ten, ahead of the US and trailing behind countries like Australia and New Zealand who long relied on migration to improve their workforce.

For more information visit: www.oecd.org/migration/talent-attractiveness/

The UK has had a long history of attracting highly skilled workers, and this is no surprise given the country's reputation for world-class universities and excellent research institutions. However, the OECD report cites changes made to the UK's migration regime after Brexit as the main driver behind the country's rise up the rankings. The report specifically mentions the abolition of the previous quota for highly skilled workers, which made it easier for well-qualified workers to come to the UK.

Brexit has also had other impacts on the UK's attractiveness as a destination for highly skilled workers. For example, the UK government's new immigration policy, which came into effect in January 2021, has prioritised highly skilled workers over low-skilled ones. The policy focuses on attracting workers who have the skills and experience that are most in demand in the UK, such as doctors, nurses, engineers, and IT professionals.

This new policy is a departure from the old one, which prioritised EU workers over those from other parts of the world. The change is partly due to the fact that after Brexit, the UK can no longer rely on the free movement of people from the EU. Therefore, the government had to create a new immigration system that was fair and non-discriminatory while also ensuring that the UK's economy continued to thrive.

The new immigration policy has been well-received by many employers in the UK, who have been struggling to fill vacancies due to a shortage of skilled workers. This shortage has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted global supply chains and caused many workers to re-evaluate their priorities. The UK's new immigration policy has made it easier for employers to recruit highly skilled workers from all over the world, which has helped to alleviate some of the pressure on the labour market.

Another factor that has contributed to the UK's rise in talent attractiveness rankings is the strength of its labour market. The OECD report notes that highly skilled workers tend to do well in the UK labour market thanks to its flexibility and adaptability. The UK has a relatively low level of employment protection, which means that employers are more willing to hire workers on a temporary or contract basis. This has helped to create a more dynamic labour market, where workers are more likely to move between jobs and industries as their skills and experience develop.

The report also highlights the UK's strong research and innovation ecosystem as another key factor in its rise in talent attractiveness rankings. The UK is home to some of the world's leading universities and research institutions, which have helped to attract highly skilled workers from all over the world. The government has also invested heavily in research and development in recent years, which has helped to create a supportive environment for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Talented and skilled individuals are critical to a country's future prosperity. They bring innovation and new ideas and contribute to the technological progress of a nation. These individuals hold jobs that are key to a country's economic growth, leading to other employment opportunities and better living conditions for all. As a result, OECD countries are increasingly competing to attract and retain the best talent through more favourable migration policies.

In this race to attract the best and brightest, the UK has emerged as a leading destination for global talent. The country's Global Talent Visa, launched in February 2020, is designed to attract talented individuals from across the globe who excel in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, as well as in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

The Global Talent Visa is a fast-track route for highly skilled individuals who want to work in the UK. The visa enables individuals to work in the UK for up to five years without being tied to a specific job, allowing them to move between employers and sectors. Moreover, it also provides a path to permanent residency and citizenship for those who meet the eligibility criteria.

The UK's Global Talent Visa program has been particularly successful in attracting talent from overseas, with a significant number of applications from countries such as India, Nigeria, China, and the United States. This has helped the UK to maintain its position as a leader in science, technology, and innovation, as well as attracting the best talent from around the world to contribute to its economic growth and development.

The UK government's commitment to becoming a leader in the tech sector has also played a significant role in attracting the best talent. The country has invested heavily in science, research, and development and has a strong focus on digital innovation, with initiatives such as the Digital Innovation Fund, Tech Nation, and the Future Fund. These programs have helped to create a thriving ecosystem for tech startups, making the UK an attractive destination for those looking to start or join a tech company.

The Global Talent Visa has already had a positive impact on the UK's economy, with many talented individuals choosing to relocate to the country to take advantage of the opportunities available. This has led to the creation of new jobs, increased investment in the country, and a boost to the country's overall competitiveness.

In conclusion, the UK's rise in talent attractiveness rankings is a positive sign for the country's economy and its future prospects, and the Global Talent Visa has played a significant role in attracting the best talent to the UK, which is essential for the country's future prosperity. As the UK continues to focus on becoming a leader in the tech sector, it will rely on the Global Talent Visa and Skilled Worker Visa to attract the best talent from around the world to contribute to its growth and development. The program has demonstrated its ability to attract top talent, and it will undoubtedly continue to do so, further strengthening the UK's position as a leader in innovation and technology.

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