UK more attractive to highly qualified workers

This year’s study listed New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and Australia as the countries with the best conditions for attracting highly qualified workers from overseas.
March 23, 2023

The UK has risen up the rankings of countries most attractive to highly qualified workers, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The country moved up nine places to 7th, from 16th in 2019. It also ranked above the US and Canada for the first time in the OECD’s Talent Attractiveness 2023 report. The UK’s improvement was the largest of any country in the list.

The OECD said the reason for an increase in the UK’s attractiveness was changes to the immigration regime since Brexit, which led to it scrapping caps on the number of highly skilled workers who could come into the country.

The list looks at a number of factors that influence the talent attractiveness of a country, such as the quality of opportunities available, the tax regulations, how suitable it is for families and the quality of life.

This year’s study listed New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and Australia as the countries with the best conditions for attracting highly qualified workers from overseas.

The report said reforms to migration policies in different countries had “important impacts” on their relative attractiveness to highly qualified workers.

“The results highlight the diversity in recent migration policy reforms across countries,” it said.

“While countries such as the United Kingdom have implemented more favourable policies for qualified workers, other countries have introduced stricter conditions for international migrants, such as higher student fees for international students in France and more strict capital requirements for entrepreneurs in Canada and New Zealand.”

The OECD said that countries could address a “talent attractiveness gap” by introducing more favourable policies, listing Israel, Japan and Korea as countries among those with the most to gain from doing this.

It added that governments needed to be mindful of updating policy frameworks to ensure they continued to be attractive to these workers. “Not regularly revising policies to attract and retain migrants can also lead to a deterioration in relative attractiveness,” it said.

The US and Canada would have been ranked 2nd and 7th if their visa policies had not been considered, it said – the US has a quota on highly skilled workers, while Canada has relatively long admission processing times.

Earlier this week, a report by the Migration Observatory with think tank UK in a Changing Europe found that the new immigration regime had not led to higher wages.

Original Article: Personnel Today

Know more about migration policies applicable in UK, contact our recruitment specialist Gareth Allison or give us a call on 02920 620702 for assistance.

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