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UK determined to increase number of `high-value migrants’

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Investors, research scientists to benefit

08 November 2010: The Government intends to increase the number of high-value migrants coming to the UK — investors and research scientists included.

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The Government will also be encouraging employers to fill vacant jobs with out-of-work people already in the country.

Home Secretary Theresa May made this clear during her first major speech on immigration. She was speaking to an audience of key immigration partners at London’s Policy Exchange.

May made it clear that the government was `determined to increase the number of high-value migrants coming to the UK, such as investors and research scientists, while encouraging employers to fill vacant jobs with people who are out of work and already in the country’.

The assertion is significant, as the proposed permanent cap on immigration only recently came under fire from a group of Nobel prize-winning scientists. They warned that the cap threatens the country’s future as a centre of scientific excellence.

As many as eight UK academics asserted visa curbs would deprive science and industry of talent.

They had added that “the UK must not isolate itself from the increasingly globalised world of research – British science depends on it”

They had further added: "International collaborations underlie 40 per cent of the UK’s scientific output, but would become far more difficult if we were to constrict our borders.

"The UK produces nearly 10 per cent of the world’s scientific output with only 1 per cent of its population; we punch above our weight because we can engage with excellence wherever it occurs.

"The UK must not isolate itself from the increasingly globalised world of research – British science depends on it."

The assertion had come soon after Russian born physicists based at the University of Manchester Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov were named as winners of the Nobel Prize in physics.

In sync with May’s assertion, Prime Minister David Cameron has also announced the creation of an `Entrepreneur Visa’ to enable people with good business ideas and financial backing to set up their business in the UK.

He made the announcement in a speech setting out the Government’s ambition for London’s East End to become a world-leading technology city to rival Silicon Valley.

Vodafone, Google, Facebook, Intel and McKinsey & Co are among the leading companies that have said they will commit to invest in the long-term future of the area.

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