The FINANCIAL -- The University, Metro Mayor and businesses in the Liverpool City Region are backing calls for a new visa to allow qualified international students to work in skilled jobs for a period after graduation.
The visa would allow a wider range of employers to benefit from access to skilled graduates from around the world, making Liverpool a more attractive destination for international students, while supporting the local economy and businesses.
According to Universities UK, the move would allow the UK to compete with other popular destinations such as Australia and Canada who have more welcoming student visa policies.
Recent studies have shown the significant contribution international students make to towns and cities across Britain, including Liverpool, with an annual contribution to the UK economy of more than £20bn, an estimated £1.9bn of which is contributed to the North West economy.
Under the new visa proposal, universities would be able to sponsor graduates to search for and gain work experience in the UK for up to two years. This would be on a more flexible basis than currently permitted, without restrictions on job level or salary, and without an employer sponsorship requirement. This would encourage international graduates to live and work in cities where average wages are lower than London, but where their skills and continued contribution to the local economy makes a real difference.
A win-win approach
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Our higher education institutions and their graduates make a huge contribution to our city region’s economy and we need to do all we can to ensure we continue to attract the best talent from around the world.
The proposal has also been supported by civic and business leaders in Liverpool. Asif Hamid MBE, Chair of the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership said: “Liverpool City Region attracts a large number of international students to its universities and we have always stressed the important contribution that overseas students make to our local economy. Therefore, it is essential to our future prosperity that the City Region has a compelling and attractive offer for these young people to come and study here which will ultimately help secure vital inward investment for local industry and people.