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UK leads global specialist skills market, finds survey


According to research by the DTI and Home Office, high calibre professionals from the financial, IT, health and biotechnology sectors are choosing to work in the UK because they see it as a centre of excellence.

Benefits for the UK cited by the report include:
- addressing the demand for scarce skills;
- providing diversity of knowledge and expertise across key sectors;
- easing of longer term skill shortages; and
- positioning the UK as genuine global marketplace for highly skilled people

The joint research shows some of the key reasons why almost half the respondents chose the UK above other developed countries such as the US. Among these are:
- UK is a centre of excellence, where professionals can work at the leading edge of their field;
- work culture and challenge and variety of jobs;
- UK culture and way of living;
- career advancement - both quantity and quality of opportunities;
- English language

The report dispels the common belief that migrants come to the UK purely for economic gain and never wish to leave; many of the respondents are already well established in their careers and do often return to their own countries after one year. Many of them are also able to make a greater contribution to their native economies when they return home due to their experiences in the UK.

Patricia Hewitt, Trade and Industry Secretary said: "It is testimony that the UK provides the opportunity for high calibre professionals to work at the leading edge of their careers and at the same time, share their knowledge and expertise within key British industries. I want to encourage UK employers to continue to attract these talented individuals who contribute to our economy and provide invaluable skills, knowledge and expertise."

The report highlights a comfort factor about the UK, based on familiarity with and liking for the society's values and approach to work. Opportunities for leisure and self-learning courses were also factors which helped seal respondents' decisions. Improved earnings and economic advancement were not dominant reasons for migrating although they were of importance to those from developing countries.


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