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Visa rules found to hold back start-ups

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The Migration Advisory Committee has told the Government that tech start-ups are suffering from visa restrictions which block skilled workers from outside Europe coming to the UK. The official migration advisers published a list of new occupations that should be opened to overseas recruitment to tackle national skills shortages, including cyber security specialists, data scientists, senior developers and product managers. Companies with fewer than 250 staff should qualify for looser visas, the body suggested, and it also advised that some jobs in healthcare, including paramedics and clinical radiology consultants, should be filled using international candidates. The committee stressed that simply opening up new roles for overseas labour would not be enough to boost the digital economy, but rather measures must be taken to address the legal and bureaucratic burdens of sponsoring skilled workers for visas. Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates, an industry network, said there will be an estimated shortage of 300,000 digital experts by 2020.

 

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