Skilled technicians must be eligible for UK visas after Brexit

06 Dec 2017 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Wellcome has openly backed calls for the government to make sure post-Brexit UK immigration rules allow the continued recruitment of skilled technical staff.

According to the research organisation, the UK requires 70,000 new technicians to work within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) industries each year, many of whom are sourced from the European Economic Area (EEA).

However, under current UK immigration rules, many technicians are not classified as being skilled enough to gain UK visas.

Wellcome argues that the application of this system to EEA nationals following Britain’s exit from the European Union could result in many universities and research institutions failing to fill their technical roles with the right employees.

Commenting on the calls, Anne-Marie Coriat, Head of Research Careers at Wellcome, said: “In last month's Budget, the prime minister made some welcome announcements around changes to immigration rules to make it easier to attract international scientists and researchers.”

She added: “Today's joint call highlights the importance of ensuring that technicians, who are vital to the continued success of UK science and technology, are also eligible to work in the UK post-Brexit.”

Other organisations who have signed the joint statement include Russell Group Universities, Universities UK, Cancer Research UK, the Science Council and the Institute of Cancer Research, as well as the Universities and Colleges Employers Association and the Campaign for Science and Engineering.