The digitization of the global workforce is driving a greater need for high-skilled tech talent across a wide range of industries. An already steadily widening digital skills gap is only expected to grow; with technology industries anticipating falling short by an estimated 1.1 million workers by 2020. To become competitive in the global race for digital talent, countries are creating new fast-track tech visas that allow highly skilled foreign talent to establish residency.
Many IT companies in the U.K. support revisions to the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa, which caps at 200 per year. They cite the need to remain competitive with places like Silicon Valley, which would be helped by a more competitive tech talent visa. Early this year, France introduced a visa for tech talent that remains valid for four years, opening its doors to foreign workers. Notably, there is no requirement to stay with the same company for the entirety of the visa, which is renewable.
Australia is the latest country to establish a fast-track tech visa, targeting seven “future-focused fields,” including cyber security, fintech and quantum computing under the Global Talent Independent Program (GTIP). The program aims to attract up to 5,000 high-income earners at the top of their tech fields by June 2020; offering permanent residency. The fast-track nature eases the process for tech talent.
Canada is another country tackling the digital skills gap through a fast-track visa, which attracted over 24,000 people over the past two years under its Global Skills Strategy initiatives. Canada allows companies with offices in the country to hire skilled foreign workers in competitive tech industries, fast-tracking their visas within two weeks. Soon after, they’re able to apply for permanent residency, and become citizens within three years.
In a LinkedIn survey of tech workers in the U.S., 57% reported that they have relocated for a job, while 80% have considered moving for a new job. Tech talent is growing increasingly willing to relocate, and the new visas attracting such talent presents the best opportunity for them to do so. Mobility stands to play an influential role in managing this talent, helping them get to different locations through the ease of new and innovative visa schemes.
Successful navigation of business transformation while developing a workforce with the right blend of skills across all industry sectors calls for an integrated approach between companies, government and institutions of higher learning. Join the conversations meet with immigration, tax and talent mobility thought leaders at the Worldwide ERC® Global Talent Mobility Summit in Frankfurt, Germany on the 12th February 2020 (#ERCEMEA). Registration is complimentary for corporate HR and Talent Mobility Professionals.