Boris Helps Attract Foreign Talent

London Mayor Boris Johnson offers guidance on attracting international employees

In move that is hoped will simplify the process of employing foreign workers for SMEs, the Mayoral Office has produced a guide to help London’s SMEs hire from outside the EEA.

The ‘simple to use’ guidelines are designed to offer a step by step map of the processes undertaken in hiring from outside of Europe, the agencies that are involved and considerations to be aware of. There are links to the UK Border Agency’s website and the opportunity to request information direct from agencies.

Over a three month period, the guides (available from http://www.london.gov.uk/ site) will be trialed in the Great London area to gauge their effectiveness. There is very little new information on the site, but it is hoped that a more straight-forward lay-out will offer greater assistance and clarity to small companies looking to expand.

Immigration continues to play a central role in the Tech City debate: the cluster are currently trying to promote the development of domestic talent while, at the same time, looking to create and maintain an internationally competitive technology cluster. It would appear that the London Mayor is keen to promote the capital as a global leader, offering advice on the most efficient ways of avoiding traditional ‘red tape’.

The guides have been met with some skepticism from business leaders in London. Many cite ongoing issues surrounding immigration and visa bureaucracy as they try to attract the best tech talent from across the world. With a huge number of start-ups making Tech City their home, rapid growth is fundamental to their success.

East London’s tech cluster is continuing to experience growing pains, but the project is quickly establishing itself as one of the world’s foremost locations for innovation. Google, Facebook and Twitter all recently secured property in the capital, with the former’s £650m ‘groundscrapper’ due for completion in 2016.

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