- Demand for Global Talent Visa applications has increased over two consecutive years since 2018 – up 45% and 48% respectively
- Demand is expected to increase from 2021as, from January, the Tech Nation Visa will be opening up applications to exceptional tech talent from the EU hoping to work in the UK
- 52% of those endorsed for the Tech Nation Global Talent Visa are employees, while 28% of those endorsed are tech founders
- App & software development, AI & machine learning,and fintech are the most common sectors for visa holders. Most endorsed applications come from India, the US and Nigeria
- 41% of Global Talent Visa applicantschose to reside outside of London to work in the UK’s strong regional tech hubs
Today, Tech Nation, the growth platform for tech companies and leaders, launches a new report, which reveals changes in the international talent landscape and growing interest in the Global Talent Visa.
The Tech Nation Global Talent Visa
As the race for global tech talent heats up, many countries have been making their pitch to attract the best and brightest tech talent to grow their tech industries and create jobs. The Global Talent Visa, for which Tech Nation is the official endorsing body for Digital Technology, plays a key role in enabling international tech talent to contribute to the UK economy and to the growth of high priority sectors such as AI and Cyber.
The visa has seen applications increase significantly over the past two years, with 45% and 48% increases respectively. Since November 2018, the Tech Nation Global Talent Visa has received 1,975 applications and endorsed 920 visas from over 50 countries worldwide. Demand is expected to increase in 2021 with the EU coming into the route.
52% of those endorsed for the Tech Nation Global Talent Visa since 2014 are employees at some of the UK’s leading tech firms, helping to fill existing talent gaps, while 28% are tech founders bringing ideas, talent and capital into the UK’s fast growing tech sector. In 2020, the visa enabled 421 founders to set up business in the UK, up from 400 in 2019.
This global talent is distributed right across the UK. 41% of endorsed applicants for the visa are based outside of London, working in the UK’s strong regional tech hubs. App & software development, AI & machine learning, and fintech are the most popular sector destinations for visa holders, reflecting growth in those tech sub-sectors. India, the US, and Nigeria are the top three countries from which exceptional talent has come into the UK with the Tech Nation visa.
A surge in demand and interest
Labour markets around the world and in the UK have undergone profound shifts in 2020. The data released today shows that there has been a 200% increase in the volume of users in the UK searching online for terms explicitly related to ‘UK tech visas’ between April and September 20201. This surge in interest to work in the UK’s digital tech sector is reflected globally too, with a 100% increase in users internationally searching for these terms in countries like the US and India.
Digital tech roles remain in high demand in the UK. Cyber skills are becoming increasingly important within the UK, particularly in regions such as Wales and the East and West Midlands where there has been a huge increase in demand between 2017 and 2019 (351%, 140%, and 86% respectively). Demand for AI skills has increased by 111% from 2017 to 2019, with Northern Ireland and Wales seeing the greatest increases in demand – 418% and 200% respectively.
Minister for Digital and Culture Caroline Dinenage said: “It’s no surprise the UK’s world-beating technology sector appeals to international talent. Our dynamic companies reflect the UK’s long-standing reputation for innovation and are renowned on the global stage. We are open to the brightest and the best talent, and this visa scheme makes it easier for companies across the country to recruit the talent they need to grow.”
Stephen Kelly, Chair of Tech Nation, comments: “The UK is a global talent magnet for Tech founders. The UK provides rich opportunities for entrepreneurs to set up, flourish and scale a business. The Global Talent Visa is crucial to making this process easy and accessible. Tech Nation’s Visa Report shows that, despite the pandemic, international interest to work in the UK tech sector has never been higher. Attracting tomorrow’s tech leaders to the UK is crucial to the continued growth of the sector, the UK’s place in the world, and driving the nation through recovery to growth in the digital age.”
Trecilla Lobo, SVP, People at BenevolentAI and Tech Nation Board Director, said: “The UK tech ecosystem continues to contribute to the creation of jobs and to innovative products and services. The Tech Nation Visa enables the UK tech sector to maintain its competitive advantage by attracting the best talent in specialist skills in tech, research and AI and a more globally diverse perspective to help us innovate and create amazing products and services. As an immigrant to the UK in my late teens, the UK visa scheme has enabled me to bring my experience, expertise and contribute to the people agenda for tech scale-ups in the UK, and helped me build a successful career in tech. I am really excited that the Tech Nation Visa will open opportunities and streamline the visa process for future global tech talent.”
Hao Zheng, Co-founder & CEO at RoboK, based in Cambridge and Newcastle, said: “I decided to work in UK tech because of the well-established ecosystem, world-class research and innovation and the high-level of experience that is extremely valuable for startup technology companies.”
Congcong Wang, Head of Operations at TusPark, based in Cambridge, said: “The UK is a world leading innovation hub, particularly in the fields of AI and Healthcare. Its environment fosters young talent, breeds disruptive innovation and creates amazing companies. Also, the culture of the UK is nurturing and tolerant for innovation, as it is considered a “safe place” for those inspired to take on the more risky route of entrepreneurship.”
Sumit Janmejai, Data-Driven Cybersecurity Professional at Capgemini, based in London said: “Having studied in the UK and worked with UK professionals, I could appreciate the fact that the UK is fast becoming the center of innovation, research and development in the Tech Industry. Besides that, the country offers an excellent life, welcoming culture, and a safe environment. It was an easy choice.”
EDF announces delay, price rise for UK nuclear plant
PARIS (Reuters) – Britain’s Hinkley Point C nuclear plant will be delayed by six months to June 2026 and the cost will rise by another 500 million pounds ($687 million) France’s EDF said on Wednesday citing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The plant, originally expected to open in 2017, has witnessed repeated delays and cost rises, with the estimate now 22-23 billion pounds ($30.2-$31.60 billion).
EDF announced in November that it would review its work schedule and costs estimate in light of the pandemic.
“A detailed review of schedule and cost has been performed to estimate the impact of the pandemic so far. The start of electricity generation from (Hinkley’s) Unit 1 is now expected in June 2026, compared to end-2025 as initially announced in 2016”, EDF said.
“Despite being affected by the COVID-19 health crisis, Hinkley Point C has made significant progress in 2020 on site, in the design execution plans and on the manufacturing of equipment,” the company said.
Shares in EDF were down 1.5% in early trade.
The 3.2 gigawatt nuclear power station in Somerset, southwest England, is being built by the British arm of EDF and China General Nuclear Power Corp.
It is the first nuclear plant to be built in Britain in decades.
In November, EDF also said it would begin decommissioning Britain’s Hinkley Point B plant, which began operation in 1976, by July 2022.
($1 = 0.7280 pounds)
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Benoit Van Overstraeten; editing by Louise Heavens and Jason Neely)
UK mobile networks Vodafone, O2 and Three tackle rural coverage
LONDON (Reuters) – British mobile networks Vodafone, O2 and Three are teaming up to build and share 222 mobile masts to boost 4G coverage in rural areas where there is only a patchy signal.
The first stage of the shared rural network will increase coverage in each of the UK nations, with 124 new sites in Scotland, 33 in Wales, 11 in Northern Ireland and 54 in England, the companies said on Wednesday.
Construction will start this year and is scheduled to be completed by 2024, they said.
The mobile industry and the government agreed last year to create a shared rural network, at a cost of 1 billion pounds provided by operators and public funds to improve rural coverage.
In this first stage, the operators will target areas reached by only one network currently.
A second stage to tackle areas where they is currently no signal at all will be funded by the government.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle, editing by Andy Bruce)
Google revives Australia news platform launch amid content payment fight
By Byron Kaye
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Google is reviving plans to launch its own news website in Australia within weeks, according to a local media outlet contracted to provide articles for the venture, as the search giant fights world-first proposed laws on content payments.
The launch of the News Showcase product as early as next month is Google’s latest tactic in a high-profile campaign against the Australian government’s planned legislation to make the company pay local news providers for content that appears in its search engine.
Misha Ketchell, editor of the academic-penned newsite The Conversation, said on Wednesday he was approached by Google “to resume discussions about launching the News Showcase product as soon as possible, potentially in February. We are working with them on this”.
Google had announced plans to launch News Showcase in Australia last June, signing deals with seven small local outlets, including The Conversation, for content. It subsequently delayed the launch, citing regulatory conditions, when Australia’s competition regulator published a draft copy of the proposed media bargaining code.
The decision to push ahead with the launch was an apparent show of Google’s willingness to run its own content deals, negating the need for government-mandated legislation.
A spokesman for Alphabet Inc owned Google in Australia declined to comment on Wednesday. Two other local publishers confirmed they had content details in place for the news site, without discussing recent talks.
Google Australia Chief Executive Mel Silva told a parliamentary hearing last week the company would pull its flagship search tool from Australia if the laws, the first of their kind in the world, went ahead.
In a post on its local website, Silva says Google opposes paying for showing links to articles, not for publishing news.
“Right now, no website or search engine pays to connect people to other sites through links,” Silva said in the undated post. “This law would change that, making Google pay to provide links for the first time in our history.”
Under the planned laws, Google and social media behemoth Facebook Inc must negotiate binding commercial contracts with Australian outlets whose content drives traffic to their platforms. If they can’t strike a deal, the government will appoint an arbitrator to do it for them.
Google has argued that the legislation, which is currently the subject of a parliamentary inquiry but expected to be passed into law soon, is unworkable.
“If Google can demonstrate that it can reach agreement with some publishers then its aim is to show that commercial arrangements can be made in the absence of some kind of legislative intervention,” said Derek Wilding, a professor at the University of Technology Sydney’s Centre for Media Transition.
“The question is whether those arrangements are suitable for all publishers. The kind of arrangements that Google can propose will suit some publishers, but not others.”
(Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Jane Wardell and Michael Perry)
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