David Cameron offers fast-track UK visas to attract best international tech talent

image attributed to Flickr user: The_Prime_Ministers_Office

British Prime Minister David Cameron will allow technology experts to be given fast-tracked visas in a push to attract the best international talent to the UK’s digital sector.

The Prime Minister also unveiled a £15.5million package to support innovative firms in his announcement last Friday. This comes as he pledges to "make Britain the best place in the world in which to start and grow a business.”

This comes after a report, compiled by Tech City UK, reveals that the sector has grown by 16% between 2009 and 2012 in London, and accounts for 27% of all job growth in the City, employing some 582,000 people.

Joanna Shields, Tech City’s Chief Executive and Ambassador for digital industries, welcomed the new “Exceptional Talent” visa route, saying: “People weren’t banging on my door, but every tech company that we talk to says that hiring is a problem.”

Shields adds: “In 2010, the government recognised the growth potential of the tech sector and, three years on, the results are significant. The economic impact generated by creative and innovative digital businesses is not only supporting our recovery, but, as today's new data shows, it has ensured our lead as one of the world's leading digital economies.

“Our challenge now is to build on these firm foundations to drive higher rates of start-ups and create a landscape favourable to digitally enabled firms to thrive and contribute long-term to growth and jobs.”

Cameron says: “The world of business is changing rapidly and one of the most promising opportunities for new jobs and growth lies within a new wave of high growth, highly innovative digital businesses.

“This is why, as part of our plan to help Britain succeed, we established Tech City UK to support the creation of a technology cluster in East London and committed to help these businesses to become cornerstones of our economy.

“We've had real success. Today Tech City serves not only as an example of how a city can be transformed into an engine for growth and innovation, but it is also a blueprint for fostering growth that has been recognised globally.

“But this is not just about London. We are determined to build a rebalanced economy across the country and get behind the entrepreneurs imagining a new tomorrow in the dozens of technology clusters, accelerators and start-up incubators across Britain.”

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