London Firms Seek Visas For Talented Foreigners

By Fiona Moore, for 16 September, 2014

Almost half of London-based businesses are concerned about a shortage of skilled workers and have called on the Government to reform the visa system to remove barriers to hiring skilled individuals from overseas.

The findings were released in a recent business survey from the Confederation of British Industry and KPMG. Two-thirds of firms said they had encountered difficulty recruiting highly skilled people, such as IT/ technology specialists, creative specialists, and finance and engineering specialists. Science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) skills are in high demand, whilst basic skills, such as core literacy and numeracy, alongside transferable skills, such as communication and business awareness, were also ranked as key traits firms look for in their employees.

Lucy Haynes, CBI London Director, said: "Having the right skills to drive the capital's economy forward is an absolutely core ingredient in the recipe for continued success. To keep the capital internationally competitive, as well as attractive to skilled workers, policymakers need to look at further streamlining the visa system. We would also like to see the Mayor take urgent action to free up land for house building and invest more in the city's transport infrastructure."

Richard Reid, London Chairman of KPMG, said: "As we finally move into a period of more sustained growth, many businesses, including our own, face a larger skills deficit and could struggle to find the talent they need to grow and prosper. Combined with the higher housing and transport costs, the war for talent is getting increasingly complex for employers based in one of the most vibrant but expensive cities in the world."

"Being a global hub and with two out of three London businesses struggling to get the high skilled workers they need in this country, easing the barriers of our complex visa system to ensure we attract the best global talent needed to compete on a world stage is now vital. Failure to act swiftly on the skills agenda will undoubtedly see London slip in its global reputation as a world class business destination to the highly educated centers of the likes of Shanghai, Singapore, and Mumbai."

Tags: Individuals | Business | Employees | United Kingdom | Expats |


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