The UK will aim to attract global talent with a new Scale-Up Visa, which will be available in spring 2022, declared the country’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, MP as part of his 2021 budget. This will enable fast-growing enterprises to access highly trained overseas workers in the country.
Applicants who have a high-skilled employment offer from a qualified company that pays at least £33,000 ($45,356) will be qualified and considered for the fast-track visa. Minister Sunak explained the action by stating that an economy based on innovation must be open and appealing to the “best and brightest minds”.
“A third of our science Nobel Laureates have been immigrants. Half of our fastest-growing companies have a foreign-born founder,” Saunak said. “So, an economy built on innovation must be open and attractive to the best and brightest minds.”
He further said, “and the Trade Secretary’s new Global Talent Network, launching initially in the Bay Area, Boston, and Bangalore will identify, attract and relocate the best global talent in key science and tech sectors. All part of our plan to make our visa system for international talent the most competitive in the world”.
Sunak stated that the budget reaffirms the eligibility requirements for the new Scale-Up Visa, which will make it simpler for fast-growing businesses to hire highly trained workers. “With less than 1% of the world’s population, we have four of the world’s top 20 universities, 14% of the world’s most impactful research, and the second most Nobel Laureates,” Sunak said.
“We want to go further. I can confirm we will maintain our target to increase R&D investment to £22bn ($30.22bn). But in order to get there, and deliver on our other priorities, we’ll reach the target in 2026-27 spending, by the end of this Parliament, £20bn ($27.47bn) a year on R&D. That’s a cash increase of 50%. The fastest increase ever.”
The Head of Universities UK, Steve West, hailed Sunak’s announcement. “Universities have been critical in the fight against coronavirus, and it’s great to see the government recognize that our universities can play a big part in hastening the UK’s recovery from the pandemic,” West said.
“The money announced today will enable colleges to fully support and strengthen the government’s goals for levelling up, collaborating with enterprises, fostering innovation, and satisfying local skill needs,” he added.
He further stated that the University of the United Kingdom is glad to see the sustained commitment to boosting public spending on research, innovation, enterprise, and development, which will help to maintain the UK’s position as a worldwide science superpower.
“It’s particularly encouraging to learn that the complete costs of our Horizon Europe association’s meetings would be covered,” he said. “Of course, sustainable funding is critical for universities as they seek to maximize their role in both levelling up and spreading pioneering research.”