Post, vfx and animation trade body UK Screen Alliance has called on the government to introduce new post-study work visas immediately, rather than for the 2020/21 cohort of students as announced by government.
Uk Screen Alliance says the visas should be applicable to international students studying in the UK already.
The 2-year Graduate visas will be made available for international students who have valid UK immigration status as a student and have successfully completed a course of study in any subject at undergraduate level or above at an approved UK Higher Education Provider. The visa will allow eligible students to work, or look for work, in any career or position of their choice, for two years after completing their studies.
The move reverses the decision made in 2012 by then-Home Secretary Theresa May which forced overseas students to leave the UK four months after finishing their degree. However, unlike the route which closed in 2012, this new route will include safeguards to ensure only genuine students are eligible.
The Graduate route will launch for the 2020/21 intake of students to university. After the two years, they will be able to switch onto the skilled work visa if they find a job which meets the skill requirement of the route. The government says details will be announced in due course.
UK Screen Alliance CEO, Neil Hatton. – “By delaying the introduction this post-study work visa for under-graduates starting courses after Autumn 2020, employers will not be able to feel the benefit of this valuable cohort of skilled talent until 2023 when they graduate. There is a global skills shortage in Visual FX and animation, which will be accentuated in the UK by Brexit. The government should make the Graduate visa available immediately so employers can recruit the best international talent they need to succeed and grow their businesses.”
Although developing the UK home-grown workforce through apprenticeships and liaison with higher and further education, the VFX and animation industries argue they will always need access to the best international talent to cement the UK’s place as the world-leading hub for film and TV.
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