The City's response to FT article: Visa rules hamper UK tech start-ups, says migration committ

[REF: Visa rules hamper UK tech start-ups, says migration committee. 25/02/15]


The recommendation by the Migration Advisory Committee for further widening the visa scheme for technology start-ups is welcome in the City of London and the wider business world. Making sure that the UK can continue to attract more global business and skilled workers from abroad is essential for our sustainable economic growth.

The technology sector contributes significantly to the wider UK economy. Start-ups are estimated to have risen by around 40 per cent year-on-year and hit a post-crisis peak in 2014. That is why the City of London Corporation over the past few years has been working to support early stage businesses with high growth potential on the Square Mile’s edge - ‘Tech City’. Better engagement between business and Government on migration related issues is needed to tackle problems such as the skills shortage - the main obstacle for the growth of start-ups.

Britain is at the cutting edge of technology, but to improve this sector’s competitiveness we need to keep attracting the brightest and best from the global talent pool. Not only do they bring essential skills but also a knowledge of different markets and new ways of thinking. These will continue to support the UK’s position globally. That is why our visa system needs to react quickly to accommodate rapid growth and the demands of small, innovative businesses.

Mark Boleat, Policy Chairman, City of London Corporation, Guildhall EC2V 7HH