The Recruitment of Migrant Workers by London Science and Technology Firms (March 2016)

25 July 2016

Access to talent is central to London’s competitiveness. It is important that all companies can recruit the skills and experience they need to innovate and grow.

Tier 2 of the UK’s visa system is the main economic route for skilled immigration from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), where the position cannot be filled by a UK/EEA national or is on the Shortage Occupation List. This report assesses the extent to which start-ups and SMEs, particularly those in the science and technology sectors, have difficulties in recruiting from outside the EEA through Tier 2. It finds that while some firms are undoubtedly facing challenges, the problem is not especially widespread across the science and technology sector as a whole. However, at least some employers are encountering difficulties with Tier 2 and a faster, better-supported, and simpler process would make a real difference to employers.

(Note This work was completed before the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union)