The UK Government’s failure to recognise Scotland’s urgent skills needs by rejecting a new Post Study Work visa for Scotland has been condemned by Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC). Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of SCC, said:
“The UK Government’s decision to reject calls for a new Post Study Work visa for Scotland is bad for business and is doing Scotland a major disservice. At a time when the Scottish economy is facing serious challenges in the shape of a low growth rate and high levels of skills shortages, all in the face of a redefinition of our relationship with the European Union, it simply beggars belief that the UK Government is closing the door on an opportunity for talented international people to contribute to our economy.
“The reasoning behind the UK Government’s decision is spurious. There was no large scale abuse of the previous Fresh Talent scheme which successfully operated in Scotland until 2012 and there is absolutely no reason why Scotland’s particular skills needs should not be addressed by a distinct solution.
“Scotland’s world class universities and colleges must be able to compete for the best talent available across the globe and we need these skilled people to put their learning to use in Scotland’s businesses, driving innovation, increasing productivity, eliminating skills shortages and growing Scotland’s international connectivity. Talent such as this is the currency of the modern business world and seeking to cut this supply off to Scotland’s businesses is damaging in the extreme.
“We are working with Scotland’s universities and others to persuade the UK Government of the urgent need to find a solution that will allow Scotland to make the most of our assets and deliver the talent that our businesses need to grow and to internationalise, and we are seeking urgent dialogue with the Home Office to resolve this critical problem.”