In the midst of a severe labour crisis in the UK, the Rishi Sunak government has approved a new youth mobility partnership scheme that would provide up to 3,000 visas to young professionals from India to live and work in the UK each year.
Sunak announced the programme as part of the UK's Indo-Pacific strategy during the G20 Summit in Bali, where he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It was inked last year as part of the UK-India Migration and Mobility Partnership (MMP), and it will now be publicly launched in early 2023.
The introduction of the UK-India Young Professionals Scheme has been described as an 'important milestone' for the bilateral relationship and the UK's broader commitment to strengthening ties with the Indo-Pacific region.
Every year, up to 3,000 young Indian professionals will be granted visas to stay and work in the country for up to two years under the new Youth Mobility Partnership scheme. British nationals living and working in India would also be included in the reciprocal arrangement.
Downing Street said that after it was signed, India would be the first visa-national country to benefit from such a scheme. The agreement comes at a time when the UK is experiencing a severe labour shortage in industries such as hospitality, construction, and manufacturing.
Earlier, British businesses requested Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to soften immigration laws in the country, citing a labour crisis. Failure by businesses to address labour shortages may be detrimental to the economy in the short and long term.
Businesses requested that the government's shortage occupation list, which provides easier work visas for overseas employees in specific jobs, be enlarged to provide an alternative. Student and work visas, as well as visas tied to specific economic projects, could be also added.
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Source: Hindustan Times