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International Workers with STEM Qualifications

Volume 704: debated on Monday 22 November 2021

2. What steps her Department is taking to attract international workers with science, technology, maths and engineering qualifications to the UK. (904261)

Attracting international talent is a key component of our global, points-based immigration system, delivered as we promised the British public at the 2019 election. This system is designed to attract global talent, sponsored by employers, bringing the best scientists, engineers, academics, and other people with skills to our country.

Last week, I met the chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, to discuss the challenges facing Britain as we seek to become a leading science superpower. He spoke of the need for cross-departmental support, including from the Home Office, to ensure that Britain is competing in the marketplace of global excellence. Can my right hon. Friend update the House on what conversations her Department has had with UK Research and Innovation with respect to the global talent visa route, and how well she expects it to work?

This is an important area in developing global talent and making sure that we, as a country, are attractive and can become the science superpower that we aspire to be. The chief scientific officer has indeed been leading this work with the Home Office and with the Treasury. In response to my right hon. Friend’s question, I can say that there is a great deal of work taking place, that these routes are open and that he will hear a lot more about the applications and the numbers that are coming through, but I can assure the House that the Home Office and this Government are absolutely dedicated to making sure that we get the brightest and the best over to our country through this new route.