20 months after the introduction of the Global Talent Visa by the UK government, the British digital sector welcomed more than 700 tech professionals. But is this enough to overcome the IT skills shortage in the country?
The Global Talent Visa replaced the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa in February 2020 and opened three distinct immigration pathways – in tech, academia and research, and culture and the arts – for talented and promising individuals wishing to work in the UK.
Candidates for this immigration category must seek endorsement from one of six endorsing bodies engaged by the UK Home Office. If you are applying for endorsement in the field of digital technology, your application will be referred to Tech Nation.
Please note, there are two stages to the application process:
Stage 1 – Endorsement Application:
The endorsing body – in our case, Tech Nation, will send its endorsement decision to the Home Office. You will be notified by the Home Office whether you received the endorsement or not.
Stage 2 – Immigration Application:
When endorsement is granted, the final immigration decision rests with the UK Home Office. Tech Nation is not involved in this stage and gaining their endorsement is not a decisive factor in itself as to whether a vise will be issued eventually. The UK Home Office is supposed to consider immigration aspects of your application.
No matter the challenges within the application process, the Global Talent visa has its benefits for the candidates and holders alike. The visa allows you to work in the UK on a flexible basis with fewer restrictions and costs than other immigration categories. Also, the individuals can apply for a permanent residency after staying in the UK for 3 years. Hence, the visa ameliorates the migration process.
With that, since the introduction of the visa, Tech Nation received around 1,500 applications from more than 100 countries in 2021.
According to a government report of 2019, more than 80% of all jobs in the UK list digital skills as a requirement. Some of them include the ability to use business software, project management platforms or Microsoft Office programs. Yet too few people possess these skills.
In fact, the Open University found that nine in ten UK organisations admitted to facing a shortage of digital skills. This trend was already having a significant negative impact on productivity, competitiveness and efficiency but the pandemic has even accelerated it.
According to IT PRO (technology news and reviews hub for IT professionals), the UK tech industry, amid a growing tech skills shortage, faces vacancies of up to 100,000 per month. Some started to argue whether the Global Talent Visa’s focus on exceptional digital professionals is too narrow.
The UK digital tech sector is growing exponentially. Especially, amid the pandemic and the development of remote technologies. Access to talented and exceptional people is widely recognised to be a key factor to the further sector development.
To conclude, if you are an innovative leader and can contribute to the UK digital tech sector, the Global Talent Visa route is an excellent way to come to Great Britain.