Rishi Sunak unveils plans to draw tech talent to UK, promises ‘attractive visa regime’

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday unveiled a new scheme for 100 of the world’s most talented young tech professionals, promising to create “the most attractive visa regime ever”.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak addresses the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference in Birmingham (Reuters photo)

By Press Trust of India: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday unveiled a new scheme for the world’s 100 most talented young professionals in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) as part of his vision to make the UK a “beacon” to attract the “brightest and best”. Be around the world.

Speaking at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) annual conference in Birmingham, Sunak told an audience of business leaders and professionals that control over immigration policy post-Brexit was crucial.

However, he pledged to create “one of the world’s most attractive visa regimes for entrepreneurs and highly skilled people” and use “Brexit freedom” to strike trade deals with “the world’s fastest growing economies”.

The UK is currently negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) with India, which Sunak previously told parliament he wanted to complete “as soon as possible”.

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“We can’t let the world’s top AI talent gravitate toward America or China,” Sunak said. “So, apart from the AI ​​scholarships and Masters conversion courses that I as Chancellor initiated, we are launching a program to identify and attract the world’s top 100 young talents in AI,” he said.

He reiterated his determination to crack down on illegal immigration into the country to build confidence in the system after Britain leaves the European Union (EU) to end the free movement of people within the economic bloc.

“We have to be honest with ourselves. Part of the reason we ended free movement of labor was to rebuild public consent to our immigration system. If we are going to have a system that allows businesses to access the best and brightest from around the world, we need to do more to give the British people trust and confidence that the system works and is fair.

“That means tackling illegal immigration and that’s what I’m determined to do,” Sunak said.

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His speech comes as the CBI calls on the government to allow more immigration to address labor shortages in certain sectors of the UK economy, such as hospitality.

“We don’t have the people we need or we don’t have the productivity,” CBI Director-General Tony Danker said.

Sunak told the conference that harnessing innovation to drive economic growth, embedding innovation in public services and teaching people the skills to be “great innovators” is how he believes problems can be overcome.

“Above all there is one factor that drives growth, innovation has been responsible for almost half of UK productivity over the past 50 years. But growth rates have slowed significantly since the financial crisis. This difference explains our productivity gap with the United States,” Sunak said. .

“We are committed to using our Brexit freedoms to create the most innovation-supportive regulatory environment in the world,” he said.

Concluding his first major business policy speech as Prime Minister, the British Indian leader called innovation the “golden thread” of the UK’s national story.

“The idea of ​​what has yet to be discovered is certainly greater than what has come before. I want the United Kingdom to be a place of learning, of discovery and imagination, of realizing potential and fulfilling ambitions. That’s how we improve lives. All of us. And that’s what I’m going to do as your Prime Minister. ,” he said.

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