Immigration restrictions hurting tech start-ups

Blog Article 3In 2015, the skills shortage in Britain worsened for a fourth consecutive year, according to the Global Skills Index from recruitment group Hays and consultancy Oxford Economics, making the UK one of the most severely-affected countries in Europe.

Hundreds of Britain’s most successful start-up founders are lobbying the Prime Minister to shelve plans to clamp down on skilled migrants.

The nation’s most successful technology entrepreneurs have warned David Cameron that plans to curb the number of skilled workers allowed into the UK will crush their growth ambitions and drag down the economy.

In an open letter, the founders of Lastminute.com, TransferWise, Zopa, Unruly, Crowdcube, Nutmeg and Shazam, alongside 230 other technology start-ups and investors, have challenged the Prime Minister to reconsider plans to place further restrictions on skilled migration, claiming that “this could restrict growth and hurt the UK’s digital economy”.

Martha Lane Fox, founder of Lastminute.com and the Government’s former digital champion; Debbie Wosskow, the chairman of sharing economy body SEUK and a Government adviser; and Hermann Hauser, the founder of Acorn Computers, are among those throwing their weight behind the campaign.

“The UK has become a global tech hub thanks in large part to start-up founders, investors and employees from across the globe, including many of us who were not born in Britain but choose to invest our time and talents here,” the letter argued.

“We call on you to ensure that any future changes to the immigration system make it easier, not harder, for qualified digital entrepreneurs to come to the UK to start their business, and for growing start-ups to hire top international talent.”

According to Alex Depredge, founder of Hassle, the online platform for booking cleaning services, “it will take a generation for the education reforms to start producing the skilled workforce we need now”.

Ms Depledge sits on the steering committee of Coadec, the not-for-profit organisation that acts as a voice for the digital start-up industry, which submitted the open letter to Mr Cameron in October 2015.

Full article by Rebecca Burn-Callander, Enterprise Editor at The Telegraph, click HERE

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