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Financial sector becomes latest to ask for access to foreign workers to be eased

Written by on 30/09/2021

Britain’s financial sector has become the latest to ask for access to foreign workers to be eased as post-Brexit rules take their toll.

TheCityUK, an industry body, is calling for the introduction of a short-term business visa to allow staff to work in Britain for up to six months without the red tape needed for a full work visa.

It comes after the government announced temporary three-month visas to allow in 5,000 HGV drivers and 5,000 poultry workers – measures that industry leaders would not be enough to relieve pressure on those sectors.

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Meanwhile, fashion retailer Next has said that unless immigration rules are eased to allow it to employ more foreign workers in warehouses and logistics, Christmas deliveries would be delayed.

TheCityUK said that nine months on from the introduction of Britain’s post-Brexit immigration system, financial and professional services firms were seeing “significant cost increases to securing the high-skilled talent that they need to compete on the global stage”.

“While real progress has been made in removing unnecessary barriers and expanding the immigration routes available to skilled talent, businesses continue to struggle with process related issues,” it said in a joint report with EY and the City of London Corporation.

“In many cases, relatively minor tweaks to the UK’s current mobility framework could go a long way to help UK businesses access the highly-skilled international talent they need to grow and compete globally.”

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The report said that within UK-based financial services, 19.5% of workers are international, rising to 42% in fintech, one of the growth areas in finance targeted by the government.

Miles Celic, chief executive of TheCityUK, said: “The UK is host to one of the world’s leading financial centres and the industry is a strategic national asset which allows Britain to compete at the global level.

“But to stay competitive, we must have the best global talent.

“Without it, we will not be able to innovate in key growth areas like fintech or green finance, nor build out our international trading networks.

“The UK must strive harder to modernise its immigration processes, reducing the burden of red-tape and increasing its flexibility and adaptiveness to business needs.”

 Sky News

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