New ‘exceptional talent’ permit won’t help UK skills shortages

  12th August 2011      
 Company News, Recruitment

A new work permit for those with ‘exceptional talent’ was introduced earlier this week. According to an employment lawyer, though, the new category will not do much to help with the skills shortages faced by UK employers.

The ‘exceptional talent’ category comes under Tier 1 of the points-based migrant system — ‘High-value migrants’.

The UK Border Agency states: “this route is for exceptionally talented individuals in the fields of science humanities, engineering and the arts, who wish to work in the UK.

“These individuals are those who are already internationally recognised at the highest level as world leaders in their particular field, or who have already demonstrated exceptional promise and are likely to become world leaders in their particular area.”

As GSC Solicitors partner Tessa Fry suggests that the new ‘exceptional talent’ category enabling leading scientists, engineers and performing artists the opportunity to work in the UK, will make very little difference to UK employers as it only applies to a very small and limited number of people. Currently there is a 1,000-person restriction cap, although the government is due to review this cap in six months’ time.

Tessa says: “The new category will make very little difference to most UK employers wishing to employ non-EU migrants to fill skills shortages. They can only do so by applying under Tier 2 [skilled workers]. However, given the cap on Tier 2 permits, this process is now uncertain.”

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