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Chambers boss demands talks

Cameron hits out at end of visa system

Liz CameronThe UK Government has been accused of closing the door on those who have studied in Scotland wanting to find work in the country.

Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said the decision to reject a new Post Study Work visa for Scotland “beggars belief”.

She said: “The UK Government’s decision to reject calls for a new Post Study Work visa for Scotland is bad for business and is doing Scotland a major disservice.”

It comes at a time of skills shortages and “a redefinition of our relationship with the European Union”.

She said: “It simply beggars belief that the UK Government is closing the door on an opportunity for talented international people to contribute to our economy.

“The reasoning behind the UK Government’s decision is spurious.  There was no large scale abuse of the previous Fresh Talent scheme which successfully operated in Scotland until 2012 and there is absolutely no reason why Scotland’s particular skills needs should not be addressed by a distinct solution.

“Scotland’s world class universities and colleges must be able to compete for the best talent available across the globe.

“We need these skilled people to put their learning to use in Scotland’s businesses, driving innovation, increasing productivity, eliminating skills shortages and growing Scotland’s international connectivity.  Talent such as this is the currency of the modern business world and seeking to cut this supply off to Scotland’s businesses is damaging in the extreme.

Ms Cameron said the Chambers will be working with Scotland’s universities and others to persuade the UK Government of the urgent need to find a solution.

“We are seeking urgent dialogue with the Home Office to resolve this critical problem,” she said.

 

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