British businesses ‘need skilled immigrant staff’

08 Jun 2014 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The founder of a content creation company says that businesses are more supportive of UK immigration than the general population, because they recognise the need for talented employees to ensure the success of their enterprises.

Ed Bussey, the chief executive of Quill, said that skilled jobs are currently being created more quickly than they can be filled by home grown talent and there is a need to source staff from overseas for the benefit of the British economy.

Writing on business website Startups, he said: “At an event I spoke at recently, over 300 UK entrepreneurs were asked if they would liberalise the immigration system. Hardly a hand stayed down.”

He argued that the UK education system was unable to meet the demands of the technology sector and employers need to look abroad to recruit the people they need. He said that bureaucracy surrounding employing overseas staff is now holding back companies’ development.

“As things stand, companies looking to bring talent to the UK from outside of the EU must apply for a specialist Tier 2 visa,” said Mr Bussey.

“In 2013 just 10,179 such visas were granted, well below the 20,700 cap. Far from reflecting a lack of demand, these figures are testament to the laborious and time-consuming nature of the process.”

He said the task of applying for a Tier 2 visa was particularly onerous for small businesses, which were often those experiencing the fastest growth, and the situation needs “urgent attention and radical solutions”.

Mr Bussey argued that the UK’s immigration system must be fit for purpose to help the business community employ necessary staff. He believes Britain has the capability to become an international hub attracting the best digital and technology talent in the world.