“Office for Talent” to make the UK a more attractive destination for work

The Government has pledged to create an ‘office for talent’ as part of a bid to make the UK a more attractive destination for highly skilled individuals from abroad.

Part of the Government’s Research and Development Roadmap, launched by business secretary Alok Sharma, the new body will work with businesses and research institutions, such as UK Research and Innovation, to make it easier for individual researchers and scientists to move to the UK.

It sets out that the Government will work with businesses and research institutions to develop policies to attract and retain science and engineering talent from overseas. This would start by expanding the global talent visa to allow scientists and researchers to apply to move to the UK before securing a job.

The announcement came as a report warned that the UK needed major investment in domestic skills to avoid large-scale unemployment as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The report said that new job postings had fallen by 30% between February and May this year, at a time when unemployment was rising. It said lower-skilled and lower-salaried industries were seeing the biggest decline. It surveyed 2,000 working and non-working adults in the UK and confirmed that these lower-skilled workers were least likely to be able to afford the retraining they would need to get back into work. A third of individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds could not afford training, with 26% unaware of how to access funding to pay for a course.

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